Jason Meyer and his get-rich gold scam

Rochester man promised gold mines and made off with the cash

But Rice couldn't convince himself. As he made his way to the airport to fly home, he tried to suppress his growing fears by trusting in Meyer.

"He seemed very sincere," Rice says. "You want to give people the benefit of the doubt."

  

MICHAEL'S RESTAURANT IN downtown Rochester emanates the kind of old-world charm that might appeal to the prestige-conscious. Just two blocks from the Mayo Clinic, the restaurant has hosted its share of visiting B-list celebrities—their photos grace the walls like endorsements.

In this swank setting in early June, Jason Meyer agreed to meet another client: Steven Michael Hooks of Woodlands, Texas. When Hooks appeared, Meyer immediately took a conciliatory tack.

"I want to make sure you're taken care of," Meyer said.

Meyer told Hooks how sorry he was for causing an inconvenience. He understood how annoying it was to have $300,000 locked up. He promised to make it up to Hooks.

Hooks, after all, had wanted to invest not in Jason Meyer, but in an Arizona apartment complex. Hooks sent his cash to Bill Watson, an attorney who handled transactions for Clarendon Development Holdings in Florida.

When Hooks traveled from Texas to Florida to pay Watson a visit, the attorney told him that he'd passed the money on to Meyer.

Hooks didn't understand—he thought the money would be safe in an escrow account. Now, he was in Rochester to collect.

As Hooks and Meyer chatted at Michael's, Meyer made out a check from his 3 Hooligans Investments account for $740,000. Hooks could cash it if Meyer didn't get him the money from the Arizona deal.

Hooks seemed placated. Satisfied, he went home to Texas and waited for payday.

  

R.J. RICE WAS flying again, bound for New York City. It was mid-June, weeks since his Minneapolis meeting with Meyer, and still Rice had received no payment. Not the original $370,000 promised in their deal, and definitely not the $1 million deal-sweetener for giving Meyer the two day extension.

Those days had stretched into weeks and now Rice's patience had worn thin. As his plane landed in New York he hoped—for the umpteenth time—that he wouldn't return to Michigan without his money.

But at the hotel, the scene played out much as it had in Minneapolis. Meyer made more promises that he would pay, and excuses why he couldn't just yet.

"I'm liquidating bonds," Meyer explained.

Rice boarded his flight back to Michigan with a heavy heart and a light wallet.

At the end of June, Rice flew to Minnesota, this time with backup: his wife Deidra. Cassandra Cean, a Long Island attorney, met them there. They drove from the airport straight to Rochester, where R.J. headed to a local hotel to meet Meyer for the third time.

This meeting was no more productive than the others. Meyer cried and begged R.J. not to turn him into the police.

But Deidra and Cean were already in contact with the cops.

Cean told the investigator that the Rices weren't the only investors being strung along by Meyer. She had another client in the same position.

Cean showed the cop the agreement the Rices had signed with Meyer. She pulled out receipts showing the $140,000 in wire transfers from their bank accounts to Meyer's. She explained that the International Tropical Timber Council was involved.

"Is this some kind of Ponzi scheme?" the investigator asked.

"No," Cean said. "The Rices are experienced investors."

The Rochester investigator checked Olmsted County property records and quickly came up with two hits. Meyer and his wife owned two properties in foreclosure. The investigator turned her report over the FBI.

In late 2008, six months after their Rochester meeting, Meyer finally called the Rices. He told R.J. that he felt bad about everything. He promised to pay him back.

But the money trickled in slowly, and Meyer never lived up to his promise. In mid-summer, Meyer disappeared—Rice hasn't heard from him since.

"The disturbing part is when we went for help to the authorities we didn't get any," Rice says. "We filed a report with the FBI. But nothing was ever made of it."

  

ON JANUARY 2, 2009, Officer Bill Verdick of the Rochester Police Department returned a call to Steven Hooks of Woodlands, Texas. Hooks had discovered that the $740,000 check Meyer had written was no good.

Hooks told Verdick his tale of woe: the botched Arizona deal that made its way through Florida and ended up with Meyer.

Meyer's phone number was on the police report filed by R.J. and Deidra Rice. Verdick hit the "on" button of his phone recorder and dialed.

Meyer answered. "I'm in Las Vegas."

The check to Hooks, Meyer said, was no good for one simple reason: Meyer had been scammed. A business associate in Vegas—one Peter L. Macari—was the real culprit. Macari had written Meyer a bad check, which caused Hooks's check to bounce too.

Macari wasn't a household name in Minnesota, but his criminal record was easy to trace. An Arizona crook, Macari had served time for felony money laundering.

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31 comments
John Adams
John Adams

Before making an action, try to have the best plan or have the information on that company first. To engage in investments really takes a lot of care because it includes money and property. Like Meyer he is a man with a word, he could do everything and can stand what he speaks of. Good for him he was able to have that opportunity in earning lot money because of the work being offered for him. Gold really means a lot to all the people.buying selling gold

Gold Silver Metal Scams
Gold Silver Metal Scams

Precious metals investments are a scam period. Fraud is rampant because the regulators are managed by the biggest cons of all, the politicos. George Soros, a convicted felon in Europe, runs one of the worlds biggest ponzi schemes, and happens to be one the biggest political donors. Follow his political donations, and any other recipients of Federal "relief" money, and you can see how this once great nation has been turned into a Banana Republic.

Precious Metal Scams Fraud
Precious Metal Scams Fraud

Great article. Dont buy precious metals on "leverage", or in a company that doesnt have any history. Even negative feedback is better than no feedback. Also ensure that they have some kind of business or broker license. The CFTC almost makes things worse duping us into thinking the market is regulated. ITS NOT. The SEC and the CFTC cant or wont deal with rampant fraud from the "legitimate" investment/banking sector, and the FBI has their hands tied by the political enablers. Good job Bernie.

"Liz"
"Liz"

Jason Meyer is "Rochester". Without him the lumber companies, title companies and Realtors will be bored because they will have nothing to talk about. I worked for one of those and they were all jealous of him regardless if it was good or bad. Two worlds collide, rival nationsIt's a primitive clash, venting years of frustrations. Great guy, Great ideas, Thank you Jason Meyer for all you have done for me.

Jason
Jason

What normal human would give this Meth Freak a dime? Everyone here in Rochester has knowen about his scams for over 5 years. The people he has scammed in this town alone is incredible.

His wife is in on everything and has to stop the blond - dumb "i dont know" because SHE does know. She loves the money!

If your a friend or family member, RUN dont walk RUN!

Jennifer knows everything!

glad to see this piece!
glad to see this piece!

"The disturbing part is when we went for help to the authorities we didn't get any," Rice says. "We filed a report with the FBI. But nothing was ever made of it."

Par for the course in Rochester. It's rare for Minnesota's FBI to step up to investigate anything coming out of Rochester and it's not because there isn't corruption. Plenty of that. Perhaps the problem is the that the problem has been allowed to get out of hand so they don't know where to start.

Jay Furst
Jay Furst

Good reporting -- props to Erin for getting the story, but she's incorrect that the Post-Bulletin "ultimately ignored" Butts' letters and paperwork on the matter. Erin called me 2-3 months ago and asked for background on the case, whether we had stories in archive, etc. I told her we'd made some calls, checked it to a point but hadn't given it full attention, were extremely interested in the story, were interested in any ledes she had. In the end, we dropped the ball. But we've reported pieces of this and did not "ignore" the story. -- Jay Furst, managing editor, Post-Bulletin

Marvin
Marvin

Read the blog website below. People love this Erin girl that is for sure. Must be why she is at City Pages. Here are some quotes:

http://www.modern-radio.com/bo...

tusk So mean spirited. Erin Carlyle must be a total hole.

The DeciderAnd the king of these major offenses to journalism is our girl Erin!"

cv_joshsomeone ought to find a picture of this erin carlyle lady and print her "profile" in their free publication. and then the editors of the city pages "profiles" as well.

groovyluciferI trust the City Pages will publish a picture of Eric Carlyle and list the places she hangs out. Applebees in Robbinsdale, perhaps?

I think this is the basic problem. City Pages ownership is trying to make as much money as possible, f k everything else, and their editorial staff is going along with it.

Marvin
Marvin

As you can tell by this website below people Love Erin. Read some of the quotes on the bottom from all her fans.

http://www.modern-radio.com/bo...

The title of it is: F&*k you city pages and here are some quotes.

tusk7/31/09 8:39 AM So mean spirited. Erin Carlyle must be a total as*hole.

lilganglingsThis article was an uncomfortable read for sure. The City Pages, The Police"force", and Erin Carlyle have MONEY to go with their addictions and disabilities...I wanna write/read an article about this dreadful teamwork they constructed. Good luck falling asleep jerks. I hope that one guy grabs all of them in the crotch!

groovyluciferI trust the City Pages will publish a picture of Eric Carlyle and list the places she hangs out. Applebees in Robbinsdale, perhaps?

cv_joshsomeone ought to find a picture of this erin carlyle lady and print her "profile" in their free publication. and then the editors of the city pages "profiles" as well.

The Decider"And the king of these major offenses to journalism is our girl Erin!"

Pete
Pete

You have an attorney with years of experience that didn't care about what he was investing in but wanted to invest millions; You have a Watson investment club that lost millions to another group also, Trade LLC; You have Rice who is an "experienced investor" as his attorney would say in the article; Hooks who did a real-estate deal; Then you have Myers who also lost money to Macari;Am I missing something because this sounds like a bunch of sloppy investments. I thnk the story needs to focus on the term "Reckless Investments" on all parties involved.

F*c*y
F*c*y

He didn't bother to explain where these gold mines were located, and Butts wasn't worried about that.

LOL that sums it up.

How long has Mr. Butts been practicing Law?If Mr. Butts used funds from his firms escrow for this investment, he may be in more trouble than Meyers. He invested in Gold and never saw the gold mines? Wow! Someone should have vetted this deal for Mr. Butts, but then again he is only an Attorney. Real investors Vet deals A/Z

Education for all - No where can you get Gold below spot!

Lovelyperson
Lovelyperson

muck‧rak‧ing [uncountable]TCN the practice of telling or writing unpleasant and perhaps untrue stories about people's private lives, especially famous people: Two of the candidates complained of unfair muckraking during the election campaign.—muckraking adjective—muckraker noun [countable]

Shelly1
Shelly1

What type of magazine is the City Pages? Is it along the same lines as the National Enquirer? This story sounds completely fictional. What kind of name is Bernie Butts?

Sointly
Sointly

Hmmm...if it's too good to be true it probably isn't.

Joe B.
Joe B.

Typical Rochester MN comment "Jason". What is fascinating is the people that hide behind the fake names they use and call him names like "Meth Freak".

Here's the best part:Fact: The guy don't do drugs. Fact: The guy hasn't been investing for over 5 years.

Here is the best part about your nonsense: "What normal human would give this Meth Freak a dime" and "Everyone in town has known for over 5 years":

If that is true then how does he scam people in his own town?

You be a Coward and hide while you make up lies and say your name is "Jason". And to use his wife as a target, unless you are a women, grow some balls.

I have known this man for 7 years. I bet you can't count on one hand the people in Rochester MN that has GIVEN him money and not been paid back or made money.

I will fly in this weekend and personally pay them back if you have more than a handful.

If not, keep hiding little man. He has never let me down on any business!

just sayin'
just sayin'

Seems to me that the Post Bulletin doesn't give anything their full attention. One wonders who actually writes the news here, but sometimes it appears they're not even from the area. The PB had the information to write a story about this in February of 2010 but they did nothing. The PB claims to have made some calls and checked it "to a point" but since there was no story at that time, and we didn't even get the BIG story until the day after it broke in the Twin Cities, one wonders where they were checking. This happens over and over in Rochester, where our Managing Editor seems to feel it is more important to censor the news to create the false impression about our community, than it is to write hard-hitting facts about the rampant public corruption, corporate crime/Ponzi schemes/money laundering etc.,. You can "lede" the PB horses to a story, but if the powers that be don't approve if, they will refuse to drink.

F*c*y
F*c*y

Mr. Furst, FACT: People have been paid / offered money for information on this case.

As we all know "credible people" of your paper have been paid off to offer information that is not true. Everyone loves to jump on a band wagon without knowing the facts.

Let the dust settle and then - lets fire those that had an agenda to get "PAID" and write a BLOCK BUSTER ARTICLE TO GET A RAISE FROM YOU SIR!

It all a scam
It all a scam

That may be valid if it were not for tje fact that gold, silver, palladium and any other precious metal investments companies are scamming millions across the country and the world. Nobody is doing anyting about it. Look up "silver scams" for example and you'll get endless results.

The regulators are not doing their job, they dont even go after companies for not registering. So if an investor looks up a company for disciplinary actions, they'll find nothing. Only to find out, after being scammed, that the boiler operation was established by an ex con known to regulators. They will do nothing about it.

Look up, Andrew Wilshire, Worth Metals, Gold Bullion, ex con scamming consumers as I type. Pete, we have a real problem in this country right now.

FakU
FakU

Good point F*c*y! What can happen if Butts took money from his firms escrow? I am not familiar with what that is.

Benji
Benji

Joe - You clearly do not truly know Jason Meyer. I personally know of 4 people in Rochester he has clearly defrauded. Promised returns and then promise to pay back, but only met with a bounced check. This was 4 people I know personally. It's He did this to families who did not have big incomes and their families paid the price for Jason Meyer's lies. Jason Meyer will get exactly what he deserves and that should be lengthy prison sentence. It's people like you who believe his lies and tell everyone he is a great guy.."go ahead and trust him".. You should be ashamed of yourself....Have you read the history of this guy? Quit lying to yourself and open your eyes.. Or maybe your one the ponzi schemesters too? Sure sounds like it..

F*c*y
F*c*y

Simple, a Court ordered disbarment from the bar of the state of Florida.

Jsmith0260
Jsmith0260

Joe B.

What's the name of your company? From which institutions did you graduate? Your credentials seem empty:) You talk as big as Jason Meyer, but are just as small.

I knew Jason Meyer. An investment gurue, college graduate, and/or architect... he was not. A fast and efficient CAD draftsman was his trade.

He got in over his head in and let the greed of the devil run his life. Hopefully justice will send him away.

Joe B.
Joe B.

Here are my credentials Mr. Benji;

I run a Venture Capitalist company that consists of Five partners, Four Principals, and 19 other employees We have over $15 billion in transactions to dateI am an active angel investor with over $350 Million in funds available I currently hold a M.B.A. and a B.S. in Business with a major in AccountingI have executed transactions totaling more than $7 Billion

Now Mr. Big Shot Benji, if you can beat those credentials and think you know all about one of my personal friends then lets get this done. Like I mentioned, I have known him for 7 years. You prove me wrong and I will shut my mouth and pay cash to those people. If not then keep sucking on your straw little man.

Joe B.
Joe B.

On another note, Jay from the PB should feel proud he didn't fall into the category of getting paid to do an article. The author, who is now rich, goes from writing an article about Mr. Meyer to writing an article about becoming a Wingman.

Enjoy Citypages lovers: http://www.citypages.com/2011-...

Joe B.
Joe B.

Benji- I like the new name. Did you get that from the dog movie, Benji. ;-) I don't recall him ever mentioning a guy by that name but I will look into it. Sorry homer, but you made it sound like a never ending list of people that he screwed in his home town, now you are winding it down to 4. I bet eventually I could get that number down even further. Like I said, I will be glad to fly and personally give them pay, but then again, I doubt you can prove your word.

Joe B.
Joe B.

Benji- I like the new name. Did you get that from the dog movie, Benji. ;-) I don't recall him ever mentioning a guy by that name but I will look into it. Sorry homer, but you made it sound like a never ending list of people that he screwed in his home town, now you are winding it down to 4. I bet eventually I could get that number down even further. Like I said, I will be glad to fly and personally give them pay, but then again, I doubt you can prove your word.

On another note, Jay from the PB should feel proud he didn't fall into the category of getting paid to do an article. The author goes from writing an article about Mr. Meyer to writing an article about becoming a Wingman. What a credible newspaper!

Enjoy Citypages lovers: http://www.citypages.com/2011-...

Joe B.
Joe B.

Benji- I like the new name. Did you get that from the dog movie, Benji. ;-) I don't recall him ever mentioning a guy by that name but I will look into it. Sorry homer, but you made it sound like a never ending list of people that he screwed in his home town, now you are winding it down to 4. I bet eventually I could get that number down even further. Like I said, I will be glad to fly and personally give them pay, but then again, I doubt you can prove your word.

On another note, Jay from the PB should feel proud he didn't fall into the category of getting paid to do an article. The author, now filthy rich from this article Erin, goes from writing an article about Mr. Meyer to writing an article about becoming Wingman and getting L@#d. What a credible newspaper!

Enjoy Citypages lovers: http://www.citypages.com/2011-...

Faku
Faku

I really hope for Butts that is not the case. I am sure Meyer would expose that.

 
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