Santa Clara County: Swiss Man Convicted In Gold Export Scam

By By Jason Green, Mercury News

Fritz Kramer, 70, was found guilty of 11 counts of wire fraud and one count of commodities fraud.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said evidence at trial showed that from December 2008 to July 2016, Kramer solicited $11 million from investors, stating that he was a gold and diamond exporter. He told his victims their money would be invested in an “export project” in which he would purchase diamonds and gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo and have them exported to Europe, Asia and the United States.

Kramer promised investors they would receive up to 10 times the amount of money they invested and that the profits could be earned in as little as one month, according to prosecutors.

The pitch worked, prosecutors said, and more than three dozen investors forked over $11 million. But no one received a return on their investment, according to evidence at trial.

Following an investigation by the FBI, a grand jury in July 2018 handed down a superseding indictment charging Kramer with the wire and commodities fraud counts.

Kramer, who remains in custody, is slated to return to court July 15 for a sentencing hearing.

For each count of wire fraud, Kramer faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution. He also faces a maximum statutory penalty of 25 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution, for the commodities fraud count.

In addition, a judge could order Kramer to serve an additional term of supervised release.

Staff writer Robert Salonga contributed to this report.

This article provided by NewsEdge.