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Posted Date: 4/2/2008

Secretary of State Ross Miller Warns Nevadans That Precious Metals Investment Can Be Risky

Carson City , NV –Investigators from the office of Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller have issued a Cease and Desist order and seized approximately $80,000 in bank assets in what they are calling an unlicensed offer for the sale of unregistered securities connected to a start-up gold mining operation
Investigators served the order on Michael Smith and Craig A. Stephens, executives of US Gold Mining Company, a domestic limited partnership. The Cease and Desist order came after Secretary of State investigators working undercover met with Smith and Stephens, who offered the agents the opportunity to purchase “units” in a “limited partnership” to develop a gold mine in Searchlight, Nevada. The securities being offered by Smith and Stephens are not registered to be sold in Nevada, nor are US Gold Mining Company or its agents licensed to sell securities.

“We have to watch these kinds of activities closely because of the increased potential for fraudulent activity as a result of a volatile economy,” said secretary of State Ross Miller. “Precious metals are considered by many to be a good hedge against economic instability, but investing in precious metals, like any kind of investing, requires due diligence, a certain level of expertise, and caution.

“Similarly, raising money through the offering of any type of security requires certain expertise including a thorough understanding of securities regulation. Those regulations exist for the protection of both consumer and the securities industry.”

Miller says many of the warning signs related to questionable investments apply to not just precious metals, but virtually all investments:

• Avoid any company that guarantees large profits with little or no risk.
• Be wary of high pressure tactics designed to get you to transfer cash in any manner to those soliciting you.
• Be skeptical of unsolicited phone calls, mail or email regarding investments with
companies with which you are unfamiliar.
• Get all possible information about the company, and verify that data with a source or advisor you know you can trust.
• Be sure you thoroughly understand the fees and commissions charged, and the basis for those charges.
• Prior to purchasing, contact the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission ( , or the Nevada Secretary of State’s office (
• If in doubt, don’t invest. If you cannot get solid information about the company or its agents, don’t risk you money.

For more information on how to choose an investment professional, go directly to , or follow the Securities Center “investor education” links at . Nevadans who believe they have been the victim of investment fraud can contact the Secretary of State’s office at (702) 486-2440, (775) 688-1855, or (800) 758-6440.