Orange County businessman pleads guilty to multi-year precious metals fraud operation
Published 3:31 pm Thursday, August 3, 2023
BEAUMONT — A Beaumont man pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs today.
Michael James White, 34, pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud charges before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn.
According to information presented in court, White was the owner and operator of Gold Pro, a business in Vidor that bought and sold precious metals like gold and silver.
The company marketed their products as “financial security for future financial uncertainty.”
Gold Pro operated by promising potential buyers from across the United States a certain number of precious metals, then obtaining payment from customers through the wire transfer of funds from the buyer’s bank account to Gold Pro’s bank account.
White communicated by email, telephone or computer chat with potential buyers about the amount of precious metals the buyer would buy and agreed on a price for the precious metals and their delivery.
Starting in 2021, in multiple instances after receiving payment, White did not deliver the precious metals to the buyer, delivered a product of lesser value or delivered fake precious metals.
During an almost three-year period beginning in 2020, White defrauded numerous victims throughout the United States, resulting in a loss of more than $1 million.
White faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Beaumont Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Reynaldo P. Morin.