A former internet celebrity has been arrested for stealing $400,000 in gold

The Santa Monica Police Department has arrested a former internet scammer for allegedly stealing more than $400,000 from clients of his company that allegedly sells precious metals.

Cody Roeder was arrested on November 16 and later released on bail, but SMPD said his charges stem from allegations that he shoplifted from multiple clients in multiple states.

The case began in June 2022 when Santa Monica resident Ariel Levy said Roeder defrauded an elderly family member.

Levy’s family was visiting and wanted to sell several gold/silver bars as part of his retirement plan. After contacting well-known Santa Monica dealers, he founded Roeder’s company, Freedom Shield Capital, on the Internet. After connecting online, Levy and his family met with Rudder at his office in the 401 Wilshire Building.

During that meeting, Levy said he noticed immediate red flags regarding the process, but a family member decided to go through with the deal, and Levy got a check for the metal and a sale order for $208,000.

Roeder asked Levy to delay cashing the check for three to four days while he notarized the minerals and transferred the money.

“Although I had my doubts,” Levy said, “we handed over all the bullion and left.” “It’s been three days and no money has been transferred. I called and said ‘what’s going on?

Levy said he had received PDF documents supposedly showing money being transferred through the accounts, but Roeder kept making excuses for the non-payment. Levy took it upon himself to investigate by calling Roeder’s bank who confirmed an account for Roeder but said it did not have enough to cover a cheque. Levi also checks out Roeder’s office space and learns that it was actually a co-working site.

When Levy finally tried to cash the check in July, after several weeks of radio silence from Roeder, the check bounced and that’s when Levy called the authorities.

Levy said Roeder eventually made an offer to settle any legal claims for $75,000 plus future payments, but Levy said Roeder’s history of non-payments undermined any faith he might have in a deal.

Unbeknownst to Levi, the other victims were also coming forward around this time.

According to SMPD, a second unnamed victim met with Roeder in July to discuss investing in the precious metals business. The victim wired $90,000 to Roeder and was told he would have the minerals in a few weeks. The items never arrived and according to the SMPD, Roeder cut off all contact with the second victim.

“It was later determined that there were many other victims from several states, with a total loss of over $400,000,” said Lieutenant Rudy Flores.

Flores said the SMPD obtained a search warrant for Roeder’s bank accounts that confirmed that $90,000 was transferred to his account in July. After multiple attempts to contact Roeder at his office and residence failed, officers filed a criminal complaint with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office for two counts of robbery by false pretense and two counts of elder abuse.

Flores said Roeder was in Venice on November 16 and was arrested.

Then investigators executed a search warrant at his residence on the 1400 block of Ocean Ave. They recovered several electronic devices. Multiple affidavits were written and submitted to Roeder’s bank accounts.

Records show that he was booked in the Sheriff’s jail on $100,000 bail and released on bail several hours later. His next court date is scheduled for December 20.

Roeder previously ran a prank YouTube channel that resulted in a lawsuit from In-and-Out Burger after Roeder allegedly impersonated the company’s CEO during a stunt.

Crimes Against Persons (CAPS) Detective Kayondo is the detective investigating the case. Anyone with any additional information regarding these incidents can reach him at 310-458-8937.


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