Dallas Man Accused of Running $400k Gold-Buying Ponzi Scheme. But You Can Still Send Him Your Rolex.

Categories: Crime

Bedros Minassian.jpg
Dallas County
Bedros Minassian wants you to mail him your valuables. He'll pay you later. Promise.
If you've ever thought that some of those fly-by-night cash-for-gold operations that sprout like weeds when the economy sucks are a scam, well, so does the U.S. Secret Service.

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins' office sent word yesterday that a two-year joint investigation with the Secret Service wrapped up this week with the arrest of Bedros "Pete" Minassian outside a Victory Park hotel on Monday. Minassian was charged Thursday with two counts of felony theft for running Gold Stream, Inc.an Addison-based gold-buying business that was, according to DA's office, actually a Ponzi scheme that bilked customers of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And there's this, according to Watkins' press release: "Minassian is also accused of receiving individuals' jewelry for cleaning, resizing, etc., and secretly replacing high quality diamonds with cubic zirconia stones."

So how did Miniasson allegedly go about all this? I don't have a copy of the indictment, but this case from Oklahoma gives an idea. Seems Gold Stream would recruit "Independent Prospectors" -- because buying old jewelry from a strip mall in Oklahoma is just like panning for gold in 1849 California -- who would host gold parties and otherwise encourage people to hand over their precious metals.

The prospectors were supposedly trained by Gold Stream to value the gold, but they only provided an estimate. To actually get actual money, the seller would need to send their valuables to Gold Stream in a prepaid mailer. Only once Gold Stream performed the official valuation would it cut the check.

And yes, there are apparently quite a few people willing to slip their family jewels into an envelope and mail them off to the strangers. According to the DA's release, law enforcement has so far accounted for more than $400,000 in losses but thinks that even more customers were bilked.

The number for Gold Stream has been disconnected, but if you're still intrigued by their offer of cash for gold, you can check out their website, where one of the frequently asked questions is apparently this:

I have fine jewelry like a Rolex watch to sell. Can I send this to GoldStream?

Yes. Yes you can. Or to Unfair Park. Whichever.

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11 comments
payback
payback

You have got to be kidding me. This guys ex-wife has to be the one who stole all of our gold and diamonds out of our house. Supposedly they were diamond brokers at one time. Fantastic. If you have any dealings with Joanie Pallone Minassian, don't take your eyes off of her.

beklund2006
beklund2006

@payback i dont know who she is. so sad they have a child i feel bad for the poor kid. hes got 2 big losers as "parents"


Beklund2006
Beklund2006

This man stole my 4 karat diamond one year ago. So glad he cant do it to anyone else now

Princessrach54
Princessrach54

Dallas Gold and Silver off 35 and Royal needs to be regulated....this is where this man did all of his business and where the diamonds were being switched.

Hoffman
Hoffman

I wonder how do you know his family , you scum yourself

Wageslaverabbit
Wageslaverabbit

That is quite an impressive sentence structure.  LMAO

Wageslaverabbit
Wageslaverabbit

Shady indeed. He's not the only one in his family who's scum.

scumbagsthename
scumbagsthename

Legion of Doom is Dallas City Hall. Mind being blown in 3....2....1

scumbagsthename
scumbagsthename

Yeah, Addison is definitely a den of thieves. I think I heard from somebody(can't quite remember who) that Addison is where the Dallas City Council actually operates from....can't be for sure, though.

Paul
Paul

 You are right.  The precious metal dealers and smelters are not much better than this guy, in my opinion. My best experience was when I sold a large amount of hallmarked sterling silver to a local major smelter that advertises and runs "investment infomercials" on local radio.  Their "assay" came back as 82% silver.  When I complained, they harangued me that they were a ".com" not a ".org" and that they were in the business to make money. Apparently they also have some other ingredients in their business model. Oh and for some reason the bar was not available for a re-assay. To quote the comedian Ron White:  "Give her diamonds ... that'll shut her up."

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Whoa... I had dinner with this guy awhile back... I couldn't figure out what he did for a living; seemed kind of shady.

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