ABC News reports that the LA County District Attorney and the Santa Monica City Attorney are investigating Goldline International and Superior Gold Group, both based in Santa Monica.
Glenn Beck, Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee all engage in the rather unseemly practice of hawking the wisdom of buying gold even as Goldline pays them millions to advertise. So now, Adam Radinsky, Santa Monica Deputy City Attorney, this is your quarter hour of fame.
Radinsky tells ABC the investigation has nothing to do with Beck, though you can bet there will be push-back from FoxWorld.
The investigation will pursue claims that the companies don't deliver what they promise or push customers to buy overpriced gold coins instead of pure bullion, with the consumers quickly finding out they've lost -- in some cases -- nearly half their money even as the price of gold has skyrocketed in the past few years because of the unstable global economy.
This is the second hit on Goldline. Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, put out a report about Goldline with some of the same charges of manipulating consumers.
Goldline points to a solid rating from the Better Business Bureau and tells ABC it deals aggressively with complaints.
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Beck is in pretty deep on this because one allegation is that the company is using his name to push the allegedly overpriced coins, saying that -- as Beck has asserted -- the government can seize bullion but not coins. This is, of course, total fiction.
A spokesman for Beck told ABC News that this is just politics. One problem: Steve Cooley, the LA County D.A., is a Republican running for Attorney General.
As a way to distance himself from the right, this is pretty smart politics. (But of course, he's just pursuing justice under the law and politics has nothing to do with this. Of course.)
The whole push for gold has never made much sense. Gold has traditionally been used as a hedge against inflation. (Paper dollars losing value? Gold is still gold so is a safe haven, or so goes the theory.) But there is very little risk of inflation. The real threat to the economy is deflation, a pattern of falling prices from slack demand for consumer and other goods.