A Princeton, Iowa woman, Chelsea Lynn Gless, was sentenced on Jan. 7 by U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger to 36 months in prison for Mail Fraud.

Gless, 32, was ordered to serve three years of supervised release to follow her prison term and pay $100 to the Crime Victims’ Fund, according to a U.S. Department of Justice release Wednesday. Gless was also ordered to pay over $2.9 million in restitution to victims.

Gless was the manager and part-owner of Royal Metals Group, a Bettendorf business that purported to buy and sell precious metals for customers. Over a period of nearly four years, Gless made false representations to clients and instead of delivering precious metals and paying clients for precious metals, Gless misappropriated clients’ funds and precious metals, the release said.

Gless used the funds to pay personal expenses and other Royal Metals Group clients who were owed money. Gless was charged in federal court on Nov. 18, 2020, with Mail Fraud, Money Laundering, and Wire Fraud. On Aug. 20, 2021, she pleaded guilty to a scheme to defraud and one count of Mail Fraud.

U.S. Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. “Chelsea Gless chose fraud over business failure and misappropriated millions of dollars from her customers,” said Westphal. “Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our federal and local law enforcement partners, this prosecution sends a clear message to those like Gless that there are consequences for using lies and deception as a business model.”

The FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated this case with assistance from the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, Scott County Sheriff’s Office, Davenport Police Department, and Bettendorf Police Department.

FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel stated, “Chelsea Gless developed a scheme to defraud dozens of precious metals investors of millions of dollars. In some cases, the victims of this scheme lost their entire retirement savings. The FBI is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to apprehend subjects like Chelsea Gless whose crimes of fraud can have devastating financial consequences for their victims.”

“IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to lend its financial investigation expertise to our law enforcement partners to follow money trails that lead to criminals defrauding the public,” said IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge, Tyler Hatcher, St. Louis Field Office. “It will always be a top priority to uncover and stop schemes that steal the hard-earned money of trusting investors and bring those who devise them to justice.”