Phoenix police are on the lookout for a Scottsdale metal dealer in connection with the disappearance of $1.5 million dollars from the retirement accounts of elderly clients.
Owner of Scottsdale Gold and Silver, Michael Kent Rowlands, 41, is wanted for fraudulent schemes that targeted elderly victims’ retirement accounts, according to department spokesperson Sgt. Andy Williams.
What would typically happen is that the victims would work with Rowlands to invest their retirement accounts, but he and their money have since gone missing, Williams said.
Client Judy Neill appeared on a segment known as Money Matters Mondays for ABC15 with Rowlands to share her experience working with him.
At that time, she said she felt confident that Rowlands would be taking care of her finances and ensuring that she would get the most back on her investment.
"All I do is when I need money is call Mike and say 'Hey Mike, I need $2,000 or $5,000 or whatever.' Mike says, 'OK, I will tell you what I need' and that's it," Neill said.
It only took about 10 minutes to get everything set up and have his contact information. However, she did not have any idea how the investment process actually worked.
"Like I said with Mike, I don't worry about anything...I don't even know how much I am worth," Neill said.
Victims of Rowlands' fraudulent schemes told police they began to work with him as early as 2016 and as recently as September 2020. There have been over 15 victims.
According to Sgt. Williams, the investigation into Rowlands began in 2020. Police are seeking Rowlands to further the investigation.
He was last seen in the Phoenix area.
Rowlands has been described as a 6-foot-4 white man, weighing 310 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes, Williams said.
Anyone with information about Rowlands' whereabouts is encouraged to contact Phoenix police Crime Stop at 602-262-6151 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377) to remain anonymous.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Scottsdale metal dealer wanted by Phoenix police in suspected scam