Indiana joins lawsuit against California precious metals company

Indiana is one of 27 states filing a lawsuit against a California company accused of bilking elderly investors throughout the country out of nearly $70 million. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office says at least 16 Indiana residents are among the victims who were defrauded by Safeguard Metals.

Rokita’s office said the Indiana victims invested a total of more than $860,000 into silver coins and other products offered by Safeguard Metals, which is operated by Jeffrey Santulan, also known as Jeffrey Hill.

The lawsuit alleges the company’s customers “generally and almost immediately suffered substantial losses on their investments due to fraudulently overpriced products.”

Rokita’s office said the defendants are accused of failing to disclose the markup charge for their precious metals bullion products and that investors could lose the majority of their funds once a transaction was completed.

“This con artist persuaded elderly folks to withdraw funds from safe and secure retirement accounts in order to throw their money away,” Rokita said in a news release. “Secretary of State (Holli) Sullivan and I are working together to bring him to justice and restore his victims, including Hoosiers right here in Indiana.”

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission joins the states as a plaintiff in the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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