Boone man convicted in precious metal fraud
by Staff Reports
Florida jury has convicted a Boone man of operating fraudulent precious metals investment
businesses, which hundreds of victims reportedly lost in excess of $25 million.
Following a five-week trial, the jury found
54-year-old Arthur John Schlecht of Boone, guilty Thursday of conspiracy and wire fraud charges
according to court records.
In his sentencing, Schlecht faces a statutory maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison, plus fines and restitution.
Evidence in the trial showed that Schlecht's three companies offered customers the chance to invest in gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion that would be stored in vaults for them.
According to a press release sent out by the U.S. Attorney's office for the
Southern District of Florida, trial testimony revealed the companies did not actually purchase
physical metal in the name of their investors and Schlecht spent millions of dollars for cars, maid
services, home decorations, landscaping, jewelry, and to make payments to family members.
Four other defendants pleaded guilty to the fraud charges.