Coin Dealer Skedaddled, Class Claims
(CN) - A Newport Beach coin and precious metals dealer scammed thousands of customers by accepting money for pricey coins it never delivered, a class action claims in Federal Court.
Lead plaintiff Victor Hannan sued The Tulving Company and Hannes Tulving Jr., in San Francisco Federal Court.
Hannan claims that in January he agreed to buy 2,000 "2014 American Eagle 1-Ounce Silver Coins" from Tulving, at $23.25 per coin - a total of $46,500.
Hannan says he trusted the information on Tulving's website, which said "that over the last thirty years, Tulving Company 'has bought and sold over 1.1 million individual coins,' and that from 1999 through March 30, 2013, Tulving Company bought and sold in excess of $2.1 billion in precious metals."
The website claimed that in 2012, Tulving "sold more than $350 million in precious metals," according to the lawsuit.
Based on this purported track record, Hannan says, he became a Tulving customer and completed several purchases of precious metals with in the past three years.
He expected this transaction to be no different.
On Jan. 15, he says, he placed his order for the American Eagle silver coins, wired Tulving the money, and received an email confirmation of the transfer the next day.
However, "Despite Tulving Company's assurances of prompt delivery of the silver coins that plaintiff purchased, Tulving Company has failed to ship the silver coins. Instead, Tulving Company appears to have ceased operations and has stopped responding to emails or phone calls," according to the complaint.
Hannan says that it appears, from media reports and complaints to the state attorney general's website, that "Tulving Company appears to have failed to fulfill
hundreds or thousands of paid orders for precious metals, including plaintiff's order."
Hannan claims that Feb. 28, both the attorney general's website and the popular investment website The Street have reported that Tulving Company has ceased operations.
Hannan seeks restitution, a restraining order and preliminary injunction freezing Tulving Company's assets, and damages for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, fraud and violations of state and federal laws.
He is represented by Karl Kronenberger of Kronenberger Rosenfeld in San Francisco.