Michael Moore owns or did own an Internet gold exchange business called Gold Today, operated in Carnegie, Victoria, Australia. Mr. Moore has been named in two lawsuits claiming that Gold Today participated in a large Ponzi scheme by One Groupe International. This page contains information about the two cases that have been filed, especially as it relates to Michael Moore.
One Group International in 2000 and 2001 offered very high returns (30-40% monthly) on deposits that were supposed to be backed up with actual gold reserves, traded through the Internet (e-Gold). When the scheme fell apart in July, 2002, the investors were unable to recoup their deposits. Not only was there no return on the investments, but the deposits were not backed by any gold at all.
A group of investors in what had been One Groupe International, operating through subsidiaries OSGold and OSOpps, brought suit in New York State, USA in 2002 against those involved in what is alleged to have been a planned fraud of the type known as a Ponzi scheme.
Another group put forth a similar law suit in 2005 in the State of Washington, USA.
From the Summary of Action in the earlier case:
“This action involves a fraud as vast and far-reaching as the Internet itself. The Defendants’ scheme was founded upon a fraudulent operation fronted by the sale of a nonexistent gold-backed internet currency and was fueled by a mammoth “Ponzi” scheme disguised as a guaranteed high-yield investment program. As a result of this fraud, the accounts and investments of the victims of this elaborate fraud, once estimated to be valued in excess of $250,000,000.00, are now effectively worthless.”
The role of Michael Moore and Gold Today in this affair was as one of the principle Exchange Makers. Exchange makers were necessary to both attract customers to OSGold and OSOpps, and to handle the gold and monetary transactions involved in getting the money to OSGold.
From the 2002 filing:
“6. Key to the success of this elaborate fraud was the participation of the directly involved, complicit and grossly negligent Exchange Makers. The Exchange Makers, who held themselves out as industry experts in GBICs [gold-backed Internet currency], consistently plugged OSGold and OSOpps. With the help of the Exchange Makers’ continuous assurances, giving OSGoId/OSOpps an appearance of legitimacy, OSGold grew to become a prominent Internet institution; quickly achieving the status of the second-largest e-currency in circulation.
“7. The Exchange Makers acted as middle-men, attracting depositors and investors into OSGold and OSOpps, and then reaping the rewards in the form of exchange service commissions and compensation for referrals. These Exchange Makers, who held themselves out to be independent third parties trading in various GBICs, were — in fact — closely-linked and had close personal relationships with Defendant One Groupe and its principals..”
For information specific to each case, follow these links:
- Case Number: 02-CV-8993
Southern District of New York, USA
- Case Number: CV05-0706
Washington State, USA
Filed: April, 2005
A time-line of Michael Moore’s backing of the failed OSGold scam is provided here.