The story goes back to 2007, when a Michigan-based businessman allegedly stole over $1 million from investors that were lured into a scheme based on a fake Filipino gold mine. Freeman “Buck” Carl Reed, from St. Joseph, is the protagonist of this story, as the man is being charged with several counts of fraud by the US District Court.
Six years ago, Reed and his partner, Gary Edward Degler, told investors they had access to “a secret dig site in a mountain in the Philippines”, which contained gold bars supposedly left by the Japanese Military during World War II, according to an 11-page indictment revealed in July.
The two men said that the bogus mine had belonged to Fernando Marcos, the country’s former dictator. With this story, the duo lured more than $1 million from investors.
Besides, the two men told investors they had access to gold certificates obtained from Fernando Marcos, which “could be redeemed only in Switzerland, and were purportedly worth billions of dollars”. As stated by the indictment, Reed and Degler told their investors that the recovery of the gold and the certificates “would return billions in profits”.
Now, Reed is being charged with five counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering and also three counts of failing to file a tax return. Gary Edward Degler, a North-American citizen who lives or lived in the Philippines at the time, is charged with five counts of wire fraud.