Mining investment scam abound. Here from a report in the Hawaii Reporter is the story of the exposure of just one of these schemes.
MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JAMES RUSSO, RITA RUSSO, ELIZABETH RUSSO, RUDOLFO RUSSO a/k/a Rudy, and THOMAS RUSSO, from New City, Rockland County, New York, were sentenced this week on charges related to their participation, over a period of more than 15 years, in a phony gold mine investment scheme and various internet wholesaler schemes.
According to the criminal Complaint and Indictment and statements made in open court during the defendants' sentencings, from at least about September 1987 through about September 2005, the RUSSOS operated several different schemes to defraud. First, the RUSSOS victimized a number of people both here in the United States and in Europe by creating a fraudulent investment scheme involving an alleged gold mining operation in Brazil.
The RUSSOS induced their victims to give them more than $2 million over the course of the last 18 years by making a number of false and fraudulent misrepresentations, creating false and fraudulent documents, and promising their victims they would receive a percentage of the proceeds when the alleged gold mine was eventually sold.
The RUSSOS used various money-laundering techniques to conceal their fraud proceeds, including directing victims to send money via Western Union so that the RUSSOS could more easily convert those payments to untraceable cash, and using structured withdrawals from bank accounts to avoid currency-reporting requirements. In addition, JAMES RUSSO directed that the fraud payments be sent in the names of his wife, RITA RUSSO, and his children, ELIZABETH, RUDY, and THOMAS RUSSO, in an effort to protect his activities from discovery by law enforcement.
The Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources at www.admmr.state.az.us/Info/scams.html has the best collection of documents detailing the many mining scam schemes that abound and telling you how to avoid being caught. If you have any doubts about the veracity of the offer, look at these documents, and better still consult a trusted investment lawyer, investment consultant, or mining consultant.