(CN) – A Houston man was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in federal prison for scamming gold buyers out of $400,000 on the Internet.
James Maceo Ramey, 64, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison on 25 counts of bankruptcy fraud and mail fraud.
Ramey was convicted in July 2010 on all 25 counts for operating The Manhattan Gold Inc., a fraudulent Internet gold sales company.
Seventeen counts were for conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets, false oaths and false declarations relating to Ramey’s filing of 15 bankruptcy cases between August 2001 and December 2005 in various jurisdictions.
The remaining eight counts were mail fraud for Ramey’s Internet gold sales through auctions and his website between August 2003 and May 2004.
During trial, prosecutors said he made false statements about his address and failed to state that he had repeatedly filed for bankruptcy. Witness testimony indicated Ramey intentionally ignored and refused to comply with orders issued by the bankruptcy court prohibiting him from filing additional bankruptcy cases.
Prosecutors said Ramey solicited purchases of gold coins, including American Gold Eagles, Australian Kangaroos, South African Kruegerrands, Canadian Maple Leafs and Credit Suisse gold bars. He concealed in his bankruptcy petitions the more than $400,000 in income he received from the sale of gold: and that he never had gold to sell and did not provide gold or refunds to any of his victims.