Precious metals scheme suspect in federal court

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Midlothian man answers to a federal judge about allegations he swindled millions in a precious metals scheme. James Price is charged with mail fraud.

Today was Price's arraignment. He pleaded not guilty. The indictment alleges Price took millions from people looking to invest in precious metals and lied to them about where the money was actually going--his pocket.

Chesterfield property records show the house James Price owns in Midlothian has an assessed value of just over a million.

The federal indictment against Price claims he bought various antiques last year totaling $140,000. Price isn't talking about how he paid for his lavish lifestyle.

"You need to talk to my attorney," said Price.

The 61-year-old runs a company called Madison Precious Metals. The address listed is Village Mill Drive. No office we could find, just a name on a marquee.

The indictment states investors would send him checks or wire Price cash to invest in commodities like gold and silver.

An investment program that according to Price's web site has staying power and limited risk! But the feds said Price either pocketed investors' money or used it to pay other investors to keep them on the hook.

He's facing four counts of mail fraud.

Under the counts charged: the largest check Price received from an investor was just over $114,000.

If convicted, according to the indictment, Price would have to forfeit assets related to the six million.

If those aren't found he'd have to give up his house in the posh Tarrington community in Midlothian. The indictment also lists two cars as well as his antiques as possible forfeiture assets.

Price returns to court in late March for his jury trial. He could face up to twenty years for each of the four mail fraud charges.

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