Coin marketer paying $5M in Texas settlement

Bryan Cohen Nov. 21, 2011, 5:33am

AUSTIN (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced an agreement Thursday with an Austin-based commemorative coin marketer resolving allegations that the company violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

As part of the agreement, U.S. Money Reserve Inc., which does business as U.S. Rare Coin and Bullion Reserve, must provide $5 million in restitution to its customers and comply with the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act in the future.

The state alleged that customers who contacted U.S. Money Reserve to inquire about the gold bullion coins featured in its television advertisements encountered sales personnel who urged them to buy more expensive commemorative coins.

U.S. Money Reserve's sales team allegedly claimed that the commemorative coins would both retain and increase their value more effectively than ordinary bullion coins. The significantly higher prices that U.S. Money Reserve charged for its commemorative coins, however, allegedly rendered the products so expensive that customers were unlikely to realize an increase in value for many years.

Under the terms of the assurance of voluntary compliance, U.S. Money Reserve has agreed to fully reform its sales practices. The firm also agreed to conduct all aspects of its business in strict compliance with the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. In addition, U.S. Money Reserve will provide up to $5 million in restitution to reimburse customers for their financial losses.

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