Alderdice, James - Ft. Lauderdale Gold Scam (IG...

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James Alderdice Begins Serving 10-year Term

June 3, 1985  -  United Press International


TALLAHASSEE — A former officer of the defunct International Gold Bullion Exchange reports to a federal prison today to begin serving a 10-year term for defrauding 25,000 people of at least $75 million.

James Alderdice, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of an 18-count indictment alleging that he and his late brother, William, bilked investors through their precious metals firm, then believed to be the world`s largest. The indictment, handed up in August 1983, alleged conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud.

William Alderdice, 40, was stabbed to death last July by a man the brothers befriended in jail.

James Alderdice is scheduled to report today to the medium-security Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee to begin serving his sentence, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals Service in Miami said. She said it was not known what time Alderdice would arrive at the prison.

U.S. District Judge James C. Paine in West Palm Beach sentenced Alderdice April 12 to the maximum 10-year term, saying the ``enormity of the fraud is outrageous.``

Paine was unmoved by Alderdice`s claim that he was sorry for the way things turned out and wished he ``had $7 million or $10 million because I would give every penny of it to creditors.``

Paine said fraudulent schemes are more serious than bad business deals.

``You knew it would lead to losses to creditors,`` the judge said while also ordering Alderdice to repay $227,658 to creditors.

Paine`s federal court sentence supersedes two lesser prison terms Alderdice received in state courts in New York and Florida. Those prison terms will run concurrently with the federal sentence.

Alderdice`s lawyer, Thomas Scalfani, has said he would seek a reduction of the sentence in the coming months. Failure to win a reduction probably would mean Alderdice will serve from 52 to 64 months in prison.

Alderdice was sentenced on April 10 in White Plains, N.Y., to five years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of grand larceny and two counts of security fraud.

Two days earlier, a state judge in Fort Lauderdale sentenced him to six years in prison and ordered him to repay $2.3 million to the company`s investors.

Alderdice and his brother founded and served as officers of the Fort Lauderdale-based International Gold Bullion Exchange. Court records showed the firm systematically defrauded as many as 25,000 people nationwide of at least $75 million over a four-year period.

Authorities alleged that the International Gold Bullion Exchange accepted up to $200 million from investors across the United States from 1979 to 1983, but failed to deliver all the gold it sold.

State authorities said the scheme bilked more than $25 million from Florida investors alone, with the total reaching or surpassing $75 million across the nation.

The company was closed down by a Fort Lauderdale judge in April 1983 and filed for bankruptcy that same month.

James Alderdice has been free since his sentencing by Paine.