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WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – One of the founders of a Ft. Lauderdale commodities firm has pled guilty to wire fraud.

Jeffrey Schuler, 54, of Boynton Beach and Christopher Anzalone co-founded Liberty International Financial Services in early 2010. Liberty employed brokers who sought out investors purchase precious metals, such as gold, silver, or palladium. Based on representations made by brokers, prospective investors provided funds to Liberty for precious metals investments.

Schuler told his brokers that he was making precious metals trades for investors. In reality, from September 2010 to December 2011, Schuler made very few trades of precious metals, according to court documents.

During this period, Liberty received approximately $4 million from investors and spent less than $200,000 in precious metals related trades. Instead, the money was reportedly used to pay old investors, to pay Schuler a substantial income, and to pay other Liberty brokers and personnel.

Schuler faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced on August 25th.

Anzalone is also facing prosecution.

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