In California, the announcement that Superior Gold was coming under a court-ordered receivership came several months after Santa Monica officials first disclosed an investigation into that company, as well as Goldline, another popular precious metals dealer.
In its lawsuit against Superior, Santa Monica officials have alleged the company took payments from customers but failed to provide the coins they had promised. The complaint also alleged that Superior induced customers, through false and misleading statements, to buy more expensive collectable or foreign coins instead of the basic gold bullion that customers typically want, and charged prices purported to be far higher than fair market value for the coins while concealing markups through false and deceptive pricing practices.
California Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg signed a temporary restraining order this week prohibiting the company and its president, Bruce Sands, from "taking customer payments, advertising, or conducting any other business under a name other than Superior Gold Group." And it freezes assets the court says belong to the company and to Sands, including a Malibu home and a 2003 Lamborghini coupe.
ABC News has left messages for David Rosen, whom city officials identified as the attorney representing Sands, but has not received a return call.