June 10, 2011
Life for the precious metals dealer, and home of the often times infamous Jon Nadler, Kitco just got very ugly. “Claiming widespread tax fraud in the gold refining and trading sector, Revenue Quebec and police investigators this week conducted searches and seizures at 70 locations, mostly in the Montreal area. One of the targeted sites was the downtown Montreal location of Kitco, a major buyer and seller of gold. A note on the floor of its office on Thursday said that “operational constraints” had forced the service counter to close this week.” It is unclear if this alleged tax fraud bust means Kitco could be out of business shortly, although based on the following statement it is somewhat difficult to have an optimistic outlook on the future employment prospects of said Mr. Nadler: “The company said it has asked Superior Court of Québec to appoint an interim receiver so that it may continue normal operations under the supervision of the accounting firm RSM Richter. The action was taken “to allow for the time required to vigorously contest Revenu Québec’s unfounded claims.” At the heart of the allegation: “In a communique, Revenue Quebec said that by converting pure gold into a gold object and then refining it back into a pure state, some in the gold industry had used “artificial transactions” to obtain refunds of taxes that were never actually paid.” Apparently Kitco was one of them. Oh well, we will miss the pretty charts.
From Financial Post:
No arrests were announced, but the tax department said Thursday it had reason to believe several people were involved in producing false invoices for a number of companies.
The company strongly denied any allegations in a statement Friday.
“Kitco Metals Inc. has never participated in any tax fraud, nor has it ever carried out any fictitious transactions. In all respects, Kitco vigorously contests all aspects of Revenu Québec’s investigation,” it said.
Revenue Quebec said two networks of companies and individuals were at the heart of a false-billing scheme that had cost the province more than $150 million in tax on almost $2 billion in transactions.
In addition to Kitco and Carmen International Inc., it said almost 125 other companies had been complicit in the scheme.
Instead of trafficking in invoiceless gold, perhaps Kitco should have just pulled a Goldman, opened a prop desk, and bought the stuff. Hopefully they learn from this mistake.