Jason Meyer and his get-rich gold scam

Rochester man promised gold mines and made off with the cash

Macari and his business partner had promised investors returns as high as 160 percent per month through high-yield notes, discount notes, and prime bank instruments. The partners used counterfeit securities to convince investors that the program was safe.

From 1995 to 2002, Macari and his partner swindled investors in the United States and overseas of $23 million through their fraudulent investment scheme. Finally, in 2002, the partners were sentenced to 30 to 37 months in federal prison.

In 2005, Macari was released. Sometime after that, he encountered Jason Meyer and wrote him a check for $440,000.

Jason Meyer misplaced millions of his clients' money
Jason Meyer misplaced millions of his clients' money

Now Meyer was holding a bad check from a man who'd scammed people for seven years without getting caught.

  

FROM THE QUIET of his suburban home in Clinton Township, Michigan, A.J. Watson—the man who told Butts that Meyer was trustworthy—built a financial empire. Cash Flow Financial, LLC was a private investment club with an air of exclusivity.

The concept was simple: Investors could pool their assets to get leveraged returns they couldn't access on their own. As long as they followed a few simple rules, it was all perfectly legal.

Watson invested the members' money with Trade LLC, a Florida trading company that promised hefty returns through short sales of stock. Initial investors in the Cash Flow club were promised returns of 10 percent monthly, and for a while the checks came rolling in.

Then Watson started making side investments, including one with Jason Meyer.

Meyer told Watson he had an extremely profitable trading program in U.S. treasuries, according to court documents. By July 2009, Watson ponied up $3.9 million of the private club's money.

Around then, the club's deal with Trade LLC unraveled: The Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the Florida trader for operating a Ponzi scheme.

The investment with Meyer didn't turn out much better. Instead of high returns, Meyer passed the club's money on to four people in Texas, Florida, and New Jersey. The bulk of the cash—close to $3 million—went into Meyer's own accounts. The club got back just $625,000, a fraction of their investment.

In November 2009 the investment club filed a lawsuit against Meyer, accusing him of securities fraud and racketeering, crimes that can be prosecuted under the organized crime provisions of the federal RICO Act.

  

THE NEXT MONTH, Bernie Butts filed a lawsuit against Jason Meyer for not completing their deal.

Meyer never bothered to respond to any of the court paperwork. He never hired a lawyer—at least not one who did any work for the case. Meyer didn't even bother to show up in court, and Butts won his case by default: a $19.8 million judgment.

Butts filed a complaint with the Minnesota Attorney General's Office. He sent the court documents to the Rochester newspaper, which ultimately ignored them. He posted about the case online, filing a Rip-Off Report entry and telling his story on a special site he set up specifically to warn everyone about Meyer.

Butts collected email addresses for everyone he could find who Meyer owed. He sent them mass messages asking for help in providing information about Meyer.

But after doing this for months, Butts still didn't have his money back—not his initial investment, and definitely not the return that Meyer had promised. So he hired a Minnesota attorney to track Meyer down and force him to pay up or to go to jail.

"I think with me, he bit off more than he can chew," Butts says.

  

ON NOVEMBER 4, 2010, Jason Meyer came to Long Island with his attorney. For nearly a year, Meyer had avoided repeated requests to be interviewed in the case that A.J. Watson had filed against him, coming up with excuse after excuse and avoiding calls and letters. Now, finally, he would talk.

Meyer and his lawyer sat down in the small interview room. Watson's attorney, Harry Wise, directed the video technician to start rolling the tape. The stenographer fired up her shorthand machine.

Wise opened his line of questioning with a few softballs.

"What is your name, please?" he began.

"Jason Michael Meyer."

"What is your address?"

"P.O. Box 7728, Rochester, MN, 55903."

"My name is Harry Wise, I am a lawyer," Wise continued. "I represent Cash Flow Financial, LLC, in the lawsuit against you and various other defendants. Are you familiar with that lawsuit?"

"I am invoking the right to plead the Fifth Amendment," Meyer replied.

"You believe that answering the question I just asked you might lead to evidence of criminality?" Wise said.

"I plead the Fifth."

"Do you intend to plead the Fifth to every question I ask here today?"

"He does," interjected Meyer's attorney.

Wise wasn't ready to give up.

"Mr. Meyer, what is your address?" he said.

"I plead the Fifth."

"Do you own any real estate?"

"I plead the Fifth."

"Are you a high school graduate?"

"I plead the Fifth."

For more than an hour, Wise continued to ask Meyer basic questions about his business dealings in general, and with A.J. Watson. Over and over, Meyer gave his stock answer: "I plead the Fifth."

Wise was so incensed by the extremely unusual behavior, he filed a three-page letter to the judge complaining.

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