(WASHINGTON) -- A doctor from suburban New York told Congress Thursday that a salesman for the precious metals firm Goldline convinced him to convert his entire $140,000 IRA into gold coins, and that he lost almost $60,000 overnight by making the switch.
Dr. Julius Bazan's claim before a House committee echoed what a former salesman for Goldline told ABC News in an exclusive interview about the precious metal firm's alleged drive to convert retirement accounts into gold coins.
The hearing, which began Thursday afternoon, is meant to explore the reportedly controversial sales practices of Goldline, the precious metals dealer that pioneered the practice of weaving its sales pitches into broadcasts by popular conservative political personalities such as Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson. Company salesmen have allegedly nudged callers away from buying gold bullion and into purchasing collectable coins, which are unregulated and subject to sizeable mark-ups.
Bazan, a Czech-born neurologist from Lynbrook, New York, said in a prepared statement that in the fall of 2009, having seen Goldline's advertising, he decided he should "look into the purchase of gold" with the funds from a $140,000 IRA account. Bazan said that he had wanted to buy bullion, but when he talked to a Goldline sales representative, the man steered him toward coins. Bazan said the sales rep told him gold would likely reach a value of $3,000 per ounce within the year.
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