Learn About the Complaints Regarding American Precious Metals Exchange

  • The American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX) is an online precious metals exchange.
  • Although it is not as well-known as some of the larger exchanges, customers report high satisfaction rates with the exchange.
  • American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX) is an exchange for precious metals including bullion, numismatics, and rare coins.

American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX) is an exchange for precious metals including bullion, numismatics, and rare coins. The trading platform was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Florida. The exchange also has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai. It is primarily an Internet-based platform.
The exchange's main customer base is retail customers. However, it also caters to institutional investors through its APMEX Select services.

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History of American Precious Metals Exchange

American Precious Metals Exchange is a precious metals dealer that was founded in 2001. It claims to have over 100,000 clients, and its website states that it is one of the largest online dealers of precious metals in the United States.
In 2013, American Precious Metals Exchange was sued for violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, claiming that its website claimed that the price of gold and silver was fixed, while in reality, the company makes profit off the difference between the price at which it sells a product and its cost.
In 2015, American Precious Metals Exchange was sued by an investor who accused the company of fraud. His complaint alleged that the company falsely claimed that it was backed by the U.S. Treasury, while in reality, it was backed by a trust.

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Types of Complaints

American Precious Metals Exchange (APME) is an exchange that specializes in trading physical precious metals. It tries to provide investors with a convenient, self-serve, and cost-effective way to buy and sell precious metals. ACME is a CFTC-regulated facility, so investors can be assured they are dealing with a secure platform.
However, investors have reported multiple issues with ACME's trading platform. These issues include:

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american precious metals exchange complaints

Allegations of Manipulation

The first biggest concern voiced by investors about the American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX) is the allegation that its gold and silver prices are manipulated through a variety of methods. For example, the company has been accused of selling coins to customers at artificially lower prices than it actually paid.
The company has also reportedly engaged in "vanity pricing" of coins, which artificially inflates the rates when consumers place orders.
For example, APMEX sold a 1982 South African Krugerrand for $13,179.65 in June 2020. However, in September 2020, it sold the same coin for $16,899.99. This discrepancy in prices was caused by a "glitch" that APMEX had inadvertently created while changing its pricing system.
Also, according to the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), APMEX has engaged in a variety of illegal and unethical practices-some of which allegedly violate the CFTC's own regulations.
For example, the company has allegedly manipulated its market by selling coins to its own customers. It has also been accused of misleading customers regarding the availability and value of a specific coin.
In addition, APMEX has been accused by investors of failing to honor its advertised discount prices on gold and silver.

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Allegations of Price Fixing

American Precious Metals Exchange (APME), a gold and silver trading firm, was accused by federal prosecutors of fraud and price fixing. The allegations were raised in 2016, but it took until May 2019 for a federal judge to decide that the case was strong enough to go to trial.
In September 2019, the federal judge overseeing the case dismissed charges of fraud against ACME, which may have implications for investors who had purchased put options on APME. However, the charges related to price fixing remain. The allegations are that ACME attempted to manipulate the price of precious metals during several trading sessions in 2013.

Allegations of Fraud

American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX) has been the subject of many complaints. Many investors have accused APMEX of shorting its inventory; the company denies these allegations.
Complaints of Selling Unregistered Securities
Many customers claim that APMEX sells unregistered securities, which is illegal. They claim they invested as speculators, but were given no opportunity to learn about or understand the risks of such a position.
Complaints of Misleading Marketing
Investors also claim that APMEX takes misleading marketing tactics. They claim that the company tells them that gold and silver are the safest investments, but that in reality, they are no safer than any other investment.

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Settlement with SEC

On Aug. 2, 2017, the SEC announced that American Precious Metals Exchange Inc. (Amex: AUAU) agreed to pay $100,000 and to voluntarily dissolve its business operations. Amex had faced allegations of fraudulent and misleading business practices, including potential manipulation of the price of gold, silver, and platinum.
The SEC's complaint alleged that Amex and its owners, Tushar and Amit Shah, made false and misleading statements to investors. The Shahs allegedly made materially false statements about Amex's capitalization and trading price, and they misrepresented critical facts about the trading venue, including how Amex would handle customer complaints and investor funds, the SEC complaint stated.
According to the SEC, Amex falsely represented that investors' investments in Amex would be protected, and that investors' funds were segregated from the Shahs' personal or business accounts. Amex also falsely stated that it had no financial relationship with any outside party, the SEC complaint stated.
The SEC also alleged that the Shahs issued shares in a "shell" company, Strata Bank, in order to raise capital for Amex. The complaint states that, between Jan. 1, 2015, and Jan. 31, 2016, the Shahs misrepresented that Strata's shares were bought or sold, when in fact they were not, in an effort to deceive investors.