American Greed

American Greed

We were watching one of our favorite shows, CNBC’s American Greed – The Fugitives, last week when we suddenly sat bolt upright in our seat. The story that came on involved a notorious OTC leveraged metal crook, Luis Ferreira, aka Lou Almeda. Long-time fans of this blog (and the number of loyal readers is growing every week, thank you!) know our feelings about OTC leveraged precious metal dealers: many are a blot on humanity, and SalesLeads.tv refuses to sell lead lists to any of them.

Ferreira represents the lowest scum in the business, an outright Ponzi thief who sold imaginary metals to unsuspecting dupes. He is also on the loose – the FBI has a wanted poster out on him for jumping bail. Ferreira was born in Brazil. He is six feet one inch tall, with brown hair and eyes. He weighs about 200 pounds and has a tattoo on his left shoulder

Well, what did Luis do to get him in such hot water? The precise charge is jury tampering regarding his involvement in a fraudulent scheme to steal from investors. He ran three “investment firms” in Deerfield Beach, Florida that solicited investments for leveraged OTC precious metals. He used lead lists to trick people into “buying” precious metals: gold, silver, platinum and palladium. One hapless investor had an RV dealership that was hit hard by the recession. Luis preyed on his desperation to convince him he could make fantastic returns on a precious metals investment.

Bear in mind the Luis was previously convicted of telemarketing fraud, was out on supervised release and was expressly barred from telemarketing and metals brokerage. He supplied phony work stubs to fool his parole officer into thinking that he was working as a janitor. We heard a story in which Luis Stopped payment on a check five minutes after writing it. The Deerfield police was called, and when they arrived they noticed his office was on the other side of a law office. The entrance to the boiler room was a lobby to a law office!

The RV dealer eventually sent in a sizeable check, which Luis pocketed.  Then, every month, Luis would fabricate an account statement that showed profits piling up on the dealer’s gold investment. Luis was so good, he got the dealer to “invest” an additional $20,000 in palladium. Luis also charged his customers fees for “storage and insurance” of their “investments”. None of his dupes insisted on taking physical delivery of their purchases!

Eventually, the RV dealer needed some cash, and asked Luis to sell off some of his “holdings”. Luis told him there might be a delay because they were being sued by a “bankrupt company” – a lie, of course. The next time the dealer called, Luis’ phone was disconnected and he was long gone. Luis was caught and convicted in 2011, sentenced to 33 months in prison. He was released after sentencing with an electronic ankle bracelet and was due to surrender to the prison, but never showed up – he’s a fugitive.

These kinds of stories are why SalesLeads.tv will never sell lead lists to OTC metals dealers. Period!

Eric Bank

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