Company in hot water after writing hot checks to customers

AMARILLO, TX - Hot checks are popping up in Amarillo and investigators worry there are several more out there.

The checks were written by Empire Estate Buyers LLC., a company running a road show across the country.

They're buying your gold and silver but as it turns out, the checks are bouncing and leaving consumers without a penny.

We first warned you last month on Nov. 11 about potential problems with buying and selling precious metals at road shows.

It was during our initial investigation into road show scams that we met Dustin Lowe, a consultant working for "The Empire Road show" which set up shop at the Full Service Holiday Inn off I-40 near Soncy.

"We will pay you 90 percent of the retail value of your merchandise," Lowe told NewsChannel 10 last month.

James McClenny thought the idea of making extra cash sounded easy and simple. He went to their other road show location in Canyon to sell a few rare coins.

He says he was written a check for $200 and three weeks later, the bank notified him the check had bounced.

"When I found out the funds were insufficient, I first tried to contact the company," McClenny said. "I couldn't get a hold of them and that was a major red flag."

Potter County Assistant Attorney David Kemp says he's already come across some of the hot checks.

"They're substantial amounts," he said. "The one's we have received total more than $3k."

Janna Kiehl with the Better Business Bureau is also launching her own investigation into this company.

"There was not a fair business practice that took place," she said. "It does cause us some concern especially since consumers have had some callbacks that their checks have bounced."

Ultimately, it will be up to the county attorney's office to pursue charges.

As for McClenny, he's out his $200 and is left with a lesson learned.

"If they want to go ahead and sell their precious metals, go to a reputable dealer," he said.

The Potter County Attorney's Office says it's too early in their investigation to tell whether charges will be filed against Empire Estate Buyers LLC.

The company is located out of Springfield, IL.

Our repeated calls for comment were unsuccessful.

If you feel you have been written a hot check by this company, authorities say you should contact the Potter County Attorney's Office at 806-379-2255.

Their address is:

500 S. Filmore

Amarillo, TX 79101