State and Federal investigators have asked the federal court in Baltimore to shut down a pair of Annapolis commodity firms for allegedly selling illegal investments in gold, silver and platinum.
The two firms, Annapolis Funding Co. and Financial Trading Corp., both operated out of offices at 1623 Forest Drive and sold at least two different kinds of precious-metals investments to customers in Maryland and other states, according to the charge. The federal complaint charges that gold, silver and platinum contracts sold by the two Annapolis businesses were illegal commodity options, which were outlawed by Congress in 1978 after a series of scandals in which investors lost millions of dollars.
Neither firm was registered with the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission to deal in metals, the CFTC said in a complaint filed Monday by that agency and the state attorney general.
The complaint asked the courts to issur an injunction halting the firms' operations, to freeze the firms' bank accounts and to appoint a receiver to see that customers get back any money invested. Federal authorities said yesterday they don't know how much money the companies took in or whether there are any funds to pay off debts to customers.
U.S. District Court Judge Herbert Murray gave the two firms until July 18 to respond to the charges.
By late yesterday, the firms had not responded and could not be reached for comment.
Also accused of selling commodities without a license were Clayton Rose, president of Annapolis Funding and co-owner of both companies, and Raymond Thomas Quillian III, the other owner of the two firms.
The complaint accused the firm of selling what they called "fixed-maturity contracts" and "precious-metals accounts." Both supposedly gave customers the right to buy pure gold, silver and platinum at a fixed price. If the price of the metal increased, the customers could make large profits, the companies claimed.