Ariz. sanctions gold firm for duping investors

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By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Corporation Commission has sanctioned a company that raised money from investors for a gold processing venture that touted high-tech equipment capable of recovering more precious metals from ore.

The commission announced Tuesday that it has ordered Charles L. Robertson of Houston and his two affiliated companies to repay 63 investors more than $1.1 million and pay a $100,000 administrative fine. The companies are Arizona Gold Processing, LLC, and AZGO, LLC.

The commission says Robertson and others he directed contacted potential investors through a national telephone and email marketing campaign. They touted the company's bogus technology and convinced investors to buy unregulated "private placement" securities.

Robertson and the companies didn't admit or deny the charges but consented to the penalties.

The commission warned investors to scrutinize private placement investments.