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Yost Pursuing Restitution for Victims in Safeguard Metals Investment Scheme


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has entered into a consent agreement with California-based Safeguard Metals and its owner over a multimillion-dollar scheme in which hundreds of elderly Americans – including 18 Ohioans – were persuaded to liquidate their retirement accounts with legitimate investment firms and invest in fraudulently overpriced silver coins and other precious metals sold by the defendants.

“The Safeguard Metals of the world think nothing of stealing people’s life savings to enrich themselves,” the Attorney General said. “We can’t allow heartless predators to ruin Ohioans’ golden years, a time when our elders should be enjoying the fruits of their lifelong labor.”

Under the consent order, the defendants admit to willfully violating both federal and state securities law, including the Ohio Securities Act, and agree to permanent injunctive relief.

Although the consent order addresses the defendants’ brazen wrongdoing, Yost’s efforts to secure restitution for Ohio victims is ongoing.

The consent order stems from negotiations in a multi-party lawsuit filed in May 2022 in U.S. District for the Central District of California, Western Division in Los Angeles that was brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and 30 state securities regulators, including the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Securities. The Department of Commerce is the client of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in this case.

The multi-party suit says that Safeguard Metals and owner Jeffrey Ikahn operated the fraudulent scheme from at least October 2017 through at least July 2021. Investigative data from Ohio’s Division of Securities indicates that 18 Ohioans were victimized.

The actual loss suffered by each investor will be established to determine restitution.

The coins do have value, but Safeguard Metals grossly inflated their worth when selling them to investors – and not all investors were sold the same coins or at the same price.

Safeguard investors who wish to apply for restitution under the Ohio Investor Recovery Fund should contact the Division of Securities at 614-644-7381 or apply online at Ohio Investor Recovery Fund | Ohio Department of Commerce.

To help avoid potential securities fraud, investors can contact the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Securities’ Investor Protection Hotline at 877-683-7841 or check the background of a broker or adviser here.  

Hannah Hundley: 614-906-9113


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