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Episode 130: Deposition of Cleal Watts III

This episode contains just over an hour’s audio from the six-hour deposition of Cleal Watts III (CV No. 13-2578) in the Western District of Tennessee in August 2015. Watts told investors he was an experienced importer of gold dust, that he owned a refinery in Dallas, Texas, and that their funds would be used to purchase and refine gold dust from Africa in order to generate substantial returns in the United States. When no returns came in, Watts would delay by telling investors grandiose stories about hijackings, theft, customs issues and storage challenges, enabling him to coerce more money out of them. In the end, Watts defrauded his clients out of $5.3 million, which he spent on himself. It took three years of litigation to get answers out of Watts–and even in this deposition, his answers are vague, circuitous, and redundant, often skirting the point.
To defend himself, Watts uses the claim that he’s a dyslexic with memory problems, and he never puts anything in writing. He claims that he’s a wealthy gold merchant, but refers to bullion as “bouillon” (and keeps referring to “monies”). The straight-shooting attorney in this deposition is Anthony Pietrangelo of Pietrangelo Cook, PLC in Dallas, Texas. The lawsuit resulted in a $22 million judgement against Watts.

Listen to the episode here.