ATLANTA -- The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is going after the assets of Atlanta-based Sterling Currency Group based on allegations the company sold millions of dollars of Iraqi Dinar using on false profit promises.
In a civil judicial forfeiture filing, federal prosecutors connect the company to five properties in Fulton and DeKalb counties, three small planes and three luxury cars.
"Since the 2003 Iraq war, various promoters have claimed that the Iraqi dinar will undergo a 'revaluation' (RV), meaning that dinar holders would make enormous profits," the FBI stated in a release. "Many of these promoters claim to have high-level sources in the government or the financial industry. Several state agencies, major financial institutions, and consumer protection groups have cautioned that this is a scam."
The co-owners of the company, Tyson Rhame, James Shaw and Carol Laurette Shaw, do not face criminal charges at this time, but the federal filing makes it clear they are the focus of a criminal investigation by the FBI and IRS.
The company's Chief Operating Officer, Frank Bell, is also referenced in the filing.
Last week, 11Alive News captured video of FBI agents raiding two properties connected to this case.
Federal prosecutors claim Sterling's revenues have been considerable, earning more than $600 million in gross sales or receipts since 2004.
The FBI is actively looking for victims with a special website and tip line: 877-236-8947.
The federal forfeiture filing seeks to recover properties as "proceeds of specified unlawful activities and properties involved in money laundering offenses of Sterling Currency Group, LLC."
The filing goes on to state that the owners "have used the facilities of interstate commerce in a scheme to defraud investors in the Iraqi dinar by publishing and disseminating false information about the viability of that currency as an investment."
COO Bell talked to the FBI in late May and early June, according to the court filing.
"Bell explained that based upon his education and experience with international finance, he believes that the Iraqi dinar will never be revalued to the extent that dinar promoters commonly claim," prosecutors wrote in support of the forfeiture. "Bell used the term 'mythology' when discussing the concept of an Iraqi dinar revaluation."
Calls to the company by 11Alive News would not go through. An attorney for one of the co-owners did not return a call for comment. The company's website was not taking new orders on Thursday.
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