Federal agents are investigating the peddling of bogus gold bars in New York City; as many as 10 fake gold bars — made up mostly of relatively worthless tungsten — were sold recently to unsuspecting dealers in Manhattan.
The price of gold has risen more than 600% since January 2000, while the S&P 500 index is down 0.6% over the same period.
It is not known how many of the fake gold bars were sold to dealers, or if any were purchased by the public.
Gold refiner Ibrahim Fadl claims he was sold four bogus bars, which were covered with a thin layer of gold, and filled with a tungsten slug. Another dealer discovered that four of the gold bars he bought — worth about $72,000 retail — were counterfeit.
Fadl purchased the four fake bars from a well-known Russian salesman with whom he has done business. Fadl did his due diligence “by X-raying the bars to ascertain the purity of the gold and weighing the bars, and the Swiss markings were perfect.”
Tungsten is an industrial metal that weighs nearly the same as gold but costs a little over $1 an ounce. Gold closed last Friday at $1,774.80 an ounce.
Raymond Nassim, CEO of Manfra, Tordell & Brookes, the American arm of the Swiss firm that created the original gold bars — with their serial number and purity rating stamped clearly into them — said he reported the situation to the US Secret Service, whose jurisdiction covers the counterfeiting of gold bars. He said his company “is supporting and cooperating with authorities any way we can.”
Nassim believes the culprit must be a professionally trained jeweler to have pulled off the caper
To read Michael Gray article: Fake Gold Hits NYC
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