All that Glitters: Foster City Woman Slapped with SEC Suit Over Alleged Gold Mine Stock Scam

Don't buy it
All you underpaid and unemployed folks trying to get by in today's bad economy can file this one away in the "Why Didn't I Think of That?" category. Don't worry -- most of us wouldn't believe we could successfully sell loads of fake stock in a non-existent Filipino gold-mining corporation. But according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officials, Foster City resident Elvira Gamboa, 57, did just that -- and made off with a nice pot of cash.

Until now.

On Friday, the SEC filed suit against Gamboa in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, claiming that she fraudulently sold close to 2 billion shares in an enterprise known as Pearl Asian Mining Industries, Inc. According to the SEC complaint, the company is "nothing but a shell used by Gamboa to generate stock sale profits." Gamboa even issued a steady string of press releases talking up the corporation's "state-of-the-art gold mill plant facility" and a novel system for refining precious metals that would save the company $10 million per year.

However, "The 'refining system' [the company] purchased was a small machine from a jewel product supplier for which [it] paid $595 over the Internet," the complaint states. "In fact, the machine was broken when delivered, and [the company] never used it for any purpose." Behold the SEC, where masters of deadpan are made.

The agency alleges that Gamboa made off with at least $1 million from this scheme, and that an unnamed New York-based outfit sold stock acquired from her at a total return of $5.4 million. We'll keep an eye on where this one goes. In the meantime, please reread the first three words of the above headline... you know the rest.

Photo   |   covilha.

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