PROVO — A Midvale man is accused of selling fake gold bars.
Shaun Robert Goulding, 47, was charged Jan. 24 in 4th District Court with communications fraud and theft by deception, both second-degree felonies. He is scheduled to be back in court on Feb. 26.
In December, Goulding advertised gold bars for sale on KSL.com, according to charging documents.
“The victim purchased 15 gold bars from the defendant and his partner (who indicated he was moving to Las Vegas) at $1,000 each, $500 below market value per bar. When the victim tried to sell the bars at (a pawn shop), he discovered that the bars were fake,” according to charging documents.
Prosecutors noted in the charges that “the fakes were good enough” that the pawn shop initially purchased the bars from the victim. The victim returned the money once both parties discovered the gold bars were not real, according to charging documents.
The victim, who lives in American Fork, then worked with police to buy more gold bars from Goulding. When Goulding arrived at the meeting location on Jan. 22, he was arrested. Inside Goulding’s car, detectives found “additional gold bars, rings, diamonds and other items that the defendant identified as being fakes,” the charges state. Police also searched Goulding’s phone where they found messages discussing “hustling casinos,” according to the charges.
According to a recently unsealed search warrant affidavit, the victim spent a total of about $10,000 buying gold bars from Goulding and his associate, who police only know as “Bill.”
When the victim attempted to sell three of his gold bars at the pawn shop, “The victim was later contacted by the pawnshop and informed that the gold bars he had sold were only gold plated with the majority of them being comprised of non-gold metal.”
Goulding initially denied knowing the gold bars were fake, saying he was only selling what his associate was supplying him with, the affidavit states.
But police believe otherwise.
“Based on the fact: Shaun had fake diamonds and fake gold bars in his vehicle which he admitted were fake to officers, Shaun was selling gold at (what) would have been $500 less than current market value, and the totality of the circumstances, I feel that Shaun knew or should have known that these bars were not pure gold and that the victim was, therefore, being deceived,” the affidavit states.
Police also noted in their affidavit that Goulding’s “criminal history revealed numerous convictions for theft-related offenses in addition to other charges involving burglary, domestic violence, drugs and others.”