A Tennessee man, Larry Bates, and his sons, Robert and Charles, are under
investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau
of Investigation. The men have been indicted for carrying on mail and
postal fraud that defrauded more than 300 unsuspecting customers out of
$18 million dollars.
Larry Bates was a former Tennessee legislator. He was also the CEO of First
American Monetary Consultants, Inc. (FAMC) and of Information Radio Network,
Inc. (IRN). FAMC was a financial company that bought, sold, and traded
precious metals, primarily in gold and silver coins. IRN was a broadcast
radio station that offered listeners advice and information on many topics
including politics and world economy. Larry’s son Charles Bates
served as executive vice president and news director at IRN and economist
at FAMC, while Robert also acted as an economist at FAMC.
From May 2002 through October 2013, the Bates men allegedly advised their
customers, primarily Christians and the elderly, to buy coins from FAMC.
Because the customers thought that FAMC was a moral and upright company,
they did as advised. The Bates men would use IRN as a source of marketing
as well, urging listeners to invest in gold and silver coins from FAMC.
They counseled their listeners to protect themselves from “Mystery
Babylon” which they claimed would be a great economic recession.
Once the customers sent in money orders to purchase coins, or sent their
old precious metals in to trade, they allegedly heard little more than
false promises. Purportedly, the defendants would only fulfill half a
customer’s orders, or neglect them all together. According to the
indictment, when customers asked about their purchases, they would receive
either false promises or radio silence. It is supposed that the Bates
used the money and metals to fund their lifestyles and their two companies.
It is alleged that the fraud was targeted to more than just Tennessee.
Some of the customers that were allegedly defrauded were in Texas, Alabama,
Kansas, Florida, and many more. The Bates are charged with mail and wire
fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. If they are convicted, they
can face up to 20 years’ imprisonment along with up to $1 million
dollars for each count.
At Meyer Wilson, we believe that you should not be punished for putting
your faith and trust in the wrong people. If you or someone you know is
a supposed victim of an investment scheme, give us a call today! We can
help you try to recover the money you lost.