Well, it's about time. Today, ABC News reports that the city attorney of Santa Monica, Ca., in conjunction with the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, has launched an investigation into Goldline International, the gold company that sponsors and is heavily promoted on Glenn Beck's TV and radio shows. Apparently, California authorities discovered what Mother Jones readers likely already knew, which is that Goldline misleads customers into buying overpriced gold coins that they weren't necessarily in the market for:
"There are two main types of complaints we're seeing," said Adam Radinsky of the Santa Monica City Attorney's office, which has launched what it described as a joint investigation with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. "One is that customers say that they were lied to and misled in entering into their purchases of gold coins," he said. "And the other group is saying that they received something different from what they had ordered."
Radinsky says that the investigation is in the preliminary stages but that it involves more than 100 consumer complaints about Goldline and the Superior Gold Group, which are both based in Santa Monica.
Goldline defended its practices to ABC by citing its superior rating from the Better Business Bureau. But as we reported here a few months ago, pretty much any Joe with a credit card can get such a rating. Goldline also claimed the investigation was politically motivated by people who don't like Beck, a charge Radinsky denied. He told ABC, "Glenn Beck has nothing to do with our investigation. Our investigation is about transactions with individual customers and the complaints that they've raised. And politics really has nothing to do with it. It's all about consumer protection for us," he said. Radinsky also said that people with Goldline complaints can now file them at a special website set up by his office, www.gold.smconsumer.org. If Beck seriously cared about his audience, he should plug that site on his show sometime.