North Carolina Man Convicted in Fraud Scheme Involving International Precious Metals Investments
JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Rondell Scott Hedrick (48, North Carolina) guilty of wire fraud. Hedrick faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. He was indicted on December 18, 2013.
According to the testimony and evidence presented at trial, Hedrick used a website to advertise his expertise in several high yield international investment programs, including international gold transactions. He provided detailed information about the worldwide precious metals markets; mining operations in Mali, North Africa, and Accra, Ghana; and refinery operations in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Hedrick made representations to investors and provided documents purportedly showing that he had legitimate relationships with international banks and businesses involved in mining and refinery operations. He also represented that, because of his stature in the precious metals markets, he was able to procure large returns on investments. Hedrick took money from investors and converted it to his own use. He also met with an FBI informant in March 2013 and made representations about his significant experience in traveling internationally to close lucrative gold trading deals. Hedrick stated that he was able to obtain gold at below market prices because he was willing to travel to dangerous locations in Africa to obtain the gold and then transport it to refineries in Dubai.
After Hedrick made these representations to the informant, he solicited a $500,000 investment. When FBI agents approached Hedrick after the meeting, Hedrick maintained his ability to close such large gold transactions in Dubai, and he continued to solicit investor funds. He also contacted legitimate refineries in Dubai, claiming to have gold from Mali and Ghana that he was capable of transporting if appropriate contracts could be consummated.
This case was investigated by the FBI, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney A. Tysen Duva.