Friday, July 1, 2022

Coin salesman sentenced to 19 years for silver Ponzi scheme

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An antique coin salesman who pled guilty to money laundering and fraud charges stemming from a $200 million silver trading scheme was sentenced to 19 years in prison on Tuesday in what a federal judge called one of the largest Ponzi schemes in Utah history.

U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart handed out the full 19-year sentence requested by prosecutors to Gaylen Rust, FOX-13 reported.

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Gaylen Rust pled guilty to soliciting funds at his family business, Rust Rare Coin, for a silver trading program and for years paying out money from new investors to old ones to create an impression that the investment was profitable and keep the scheme going.

He ultimately pled guilty to using the money to fund purchases including a $2 million home, racehorses and donations to various charities.

“There was no silver,” said Assistant U.S. attorney Jacob Strain. “There was no trading, and there was no program. It was just taking money in and paying money out to investors to get the appearance of profitability.”

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A court-appointed receiver is liquidating the Rusts’ assets, however FOX 13 reports that it’s unlikely Rust will be able to pay out the $153 million in court-ordered restitution.

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