The Nasdaq-listed company that allegedly used 83 tons of fake gold bars as collateral to secure loans worth about $2 billion from multiple financial institutions in China is now in default and facing several class-action lawsuits.
$2 Billion Fake Gold Scheme Unravels
The gold industry was recently shaken when it was discovered that a U.S. publicly-traded company was allegedly using 83 tons of fake gold bars to secure loans worth $2 billion in China. Kingold Jewelry Inc. is based in Wuhan, China, but it is listed on Nasdaq in the U.S. under the ticker symbol KGJI.
Following the fake gold news, the Chinese jeweler informed Nasdaq in a filing that it had received default notices of approximately RMB 10 billion ($1.44 billion) from seven Chinese lenders. These loans were backed by the gold bars found to be gilded copper alloy. The Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) has also terminated Kingold’s membership and Chinese authorities have launched a fraud investigation into the company.
Furthermore, a number of lawsuits have been filed against Kingold as the company’s stock price plummeted 24.11% on June 29 following the fake gold reports. One class-action lawsuit was filed by The Rosen Law Firm with the U.S. court for the Eastern District of New York for violations of federal securities laws. It names Kingold, its chairman Jia Zhihong, and former CFO Bin Liu as the defendants, claiming that they operated the company fraudulently and deceived investors.
Law firms Pomerantz and Bronstein, Gewirtz and Grossman also filed a class-action lawsuit against Kingold, its CEO, and former CFO. The complaint alleges that between March 15, 2018, and June 28, the company made materially false or misleading statements about its operations, specifically about using “fake gold as collateral to fraudulently…