Blanchard Gold Lawsuit: Latest Updates and Status

Blanchard & Company, widely recognized as Blanchard Gold, is a well-established player in the US precious metals market. Over the years, they’ve grown into one of the largest and most popular gold firms. 

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Founded in 1975, their story is intertwined with the gold market’s shift towards private ownership, spearheaded by Jim Blanchard’s successful marketing campaign.

However, when it comes to investing, a clear picture is essential. Legal issues can raise questions about a company’s practices. 

So, the question remains: has Blanchard Gold been involved in lawsuits, either as the filing party or the defendant?

Below we’re going to delve into the details of lawsuits surrounding Blanchard Gold. By examining these legal actions, we aim to provide you, the investor, with a balanced perspective. 

Blanchard Gold homepage

This will allow you to make informed decisions about including Blanchard Gold in your precious metals investment strategy.

Current Blanchard Gold Lawsuit Status 

While Blanchard Gold boasts a long history in the precious metals market, their journey hasn’t been without legal entanglements. 

Through our investigation using platforms like UniCourt and Justia, we discovered a lawsuit involving Blanchard Gold.

This particular lawsuit wasn’t filed against Blanchard Gold, but rather by Blanchard Gold on behalf of its clients. The suit targeted Barrick Gold Corporation and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. The core allegation centered around market manipulation. 

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Blanchard Gold claimed that these two giants injected a significant amount of extra gold bullion into the market, potentially causing artificial price fluctuations.

The implication for investors is that such manipulation if proven true, could have impacted the value of their gold holdings.

Let’s dig deeper into this lawsuit and, explore the details of the case and its outcome. 

Blanchard Gold Lawsuit Against Barrick Gold Corp.

The Blanchard and Co., Inc. v. Barrick Gold Corp. case was initiated on December 18, 2002, by Blanchard and Davies against Barrick in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. 

Blanchard Gold lawsuit against Barrick Gold Corp.

The legal proceedings involved complex antitrust allegations related to gold price manipulation and monopolization.

Case Details:

Plaintiffs:

  • Blanchard and Co, Inc. (“Blanchard”): A retailer dealer in rare coins and precious metals.
  • Herbert Davies (“Davies”): An individual investor in gold.
  • James F. Holmes (“Holmes”): A partner in a gold mining enterprise.

Defendants:

  • Barrick Gold Corporation (“Barrick”): One of the largest gold mining companies globally.
  • J.P. Morgan Chase Co. (“JP Morgan”): One of the largest banking companies in the United States.
  • ABC companies: Unnamed gold bullion banks.

Antitrust Allegations:

The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants unlawfully conspired to manipulate the price of gold and monopolize the gold market. 

Specifically, they targeted Barrick’s “Premium Gold Sales Program,” claiming it was designed to manipulate gold prices both upwards and downwards. 

The program involved JP Morgan and other bullion banks borrowing gold from central banks on behalf of Barrick, selling it into the market, investing the proceeds, and paying the central bank a gold lease rate. 

The plaintiffs argued that the program offered exceptionally favorable terms exclusively to Barrick, giving it an unfair advantage over competitors.

Procedural Background:

The case underwent various motions, hearings, and legal arguments. On September 3, 2003, intervenors’ claims were dismissed. Additionally, the defendants’ motion for a protective order was partially granted and partially denied.

Libel Proceedings:

On March 5, 2003, Barrick initiated a libel action against Blanchard and Company Inc., et al., in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The libel notice marked the beginning of legal proceedings in Canada.

What is the Blanchard Gold Lawsuit About

The Blanchard Gold Lawsuit, filed by Blanchard and Company, Inc. from New Orleans, is a legal action against Barrick Gold Corporation and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. It accuses them of manipulating the gold market, violating antitrust laws, and engaging in unfair trade practices. 

Blanchard, the largest physical gold retailer in the United States, claims that its clients suffered significant losses due to the alleged actions of Barrick and J.P. Morgan Chase.

The lawsuit argues that Barrick and J.P. Morgan Chase injected millions of ounces of gold into the market over the past five years, far surpassing the annual production of gold mines in South Africa, the world’s largest gold producer. 

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They did this through secretive derivative contracts and by hiding billions of dollars worth of gold using off-balance sheet accounting, making it difficult for analysts and investors to understand their trading activities.

Blanchard’s CEO, Donald W. Doyle, Jr., contends that Barrick’s complex financial maneuvers resemble those of Enron, suggesting that Barrick might be operating more like a hedge fund than a gold mining company. 

The suit also alleges that J.P. Morgan Chase provided Barrick with advantageous terms for short-selling gold, which greatly benefited Barrick while harming other market participants.

Blanchard believes that the lawsuit will help stop the illegal suppression of gold prices and restore transparency and fairness to the market. 

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana by the law firm Jones, Verras & Freiberg, LLC. It aims to terminate the trading agreements between Barrick, J.P. Morgan Chase, and other unnamed bullion banks.

About Blanchard Gold 

Blanchard Gold, it’s crucial to understand that it’s a long-standing company in the precious metals industry with a focus on gold, palladium, and platinum. 

They’ve been in operation for over four decades, establishing a solid track record. However, it hasn’t been without its share of customer complaints, one of the essential factors to consider when choosing a precious metals dealer.

Blanchard Gold offers a selection of products including rare collectible coins, and bullion in the form of gold, palladium, and platinum. You can also purchase gold as bullion or coins, with several types available. 

While these products are legitimate, there are concerns about their pricing, especially for rare coins, which are allegedly marked up significantly.

The company also provides services to help roll over your existing IRA or 401(k) into precious metals, a recommended strategy for retirement planning due to the inverse behaviour of the precious metals market compared to the stock market. 

However, companies specializing in gold IRAs tend to perform better and offer lower fees, making Blanchard’s focus on rare coins a potential drawback.

Despite these issues, it’s important to note that Blanchard has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 1982, boasting nearly 40 years of BBB data

Their longevity in the industry is commendable. However, their customer service and pricing practices have raised concerns among their clientele, which you should consider before deciding to invest with them.

Pros and Cons of Investing with Blanchard Gold  

Before we delve into the pros and cons of Blanchard & Company, it’s important to remember that these factors can vary depending on your individual financial objectives. 

What may be considered a pro for one investor might be viewed differently by another. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the advantages and disadvantages of investing with Blanchard:

Pros

  • Trustworthiness – Blanchard places a strong emphasis on honesty, transparency, and integrity in their dealings with clients. They have cultivated a reputation for trustworthiness over their four decades in business, which is a significant factor for many investors when choosing a broker.
  • Experience and Expertise – Blanchard boasts a team with unparalleled experience and expertise in the industry. Their team members are not only involved in selling precious metals but also play active roles in political advocacy groups related to the industry.
  • Long-term Partnership – Blanchard aims to establish long-term relationships with clients rather than focusing solely on individual transactions. They provide personalized service and assign portfolio managers to advise clients on achieving their financial goals.
  • Buyback Guarantee – Blanchard offers a 100% buyback guarantee on rare coins within 10 days of purchase, demonstrating their commitment to customer satisfaction and building trust.

Cons

  • Absence of Gold IRA Option – One drawback of investing with Blanchard is that they do not offer the option to directly open a Gold IRA. IRAs are commonly used by investors to save on taxes, but Blanchard only facilitates the buying and selling of precious metal products. However, they work with GoldStar Trust Company to assist clients in setting up IRAs.
  • Limited Online Reviews – Despite their lengthy tenure in the industry, Blanchard has relatively few online reviews. While they maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the scarcity of recent reviews may make it challenging for prospective investors to assess their reputation.

The Verdict 

Blanchard Gold, a well-known name in the US gold market since 1975, found itself in a legal battle with Barrick Gold and JP Morgan Chase. 

The lawsuit can be seen as Blanchard Gold’s attempt to fight against what they perceived as unfair practices in the gold market, potentially benefiting all investors who rely on accurate gold prices.

Blanchard Gold remains a functioning company. They offer a variety of gold, palladium, and platinum products, including rare coins and bullion.

They can even help you move your retirement savings (IRA or 401k) into precious metals.

While Blanchard Gold is praised for its experience, trustworthiness, and buyback guarantee on rare coins, some concerns exist.  There have been questions about their pricing and the lack of online reviews.

This all means you should do your research before investing with Blanchard Gold.  The lawsuit highlights the complexities of the gold market, so it’s important to be careful.  

Consider all the factors before deciding if Blanchard Gold is right for your precious metals investment strategy.

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