NBC Evening News for Thursday, Mar 23, 1978
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(Studio) Feature on gambling introduced. London Commodity options cited.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(Houston, Texas) London Commodities Exchange filmed, described. American salesmen said to have become involved, at expense of small investor. 2/3 dealers trading London options in United States said under federal investigation. Clyde Knapp family in Los Angeles, California, cited as victim of sales pressure. [KNAPP - tells of false promises.] Knapp's purchase of sugar options at $9000 cited. 1/2 money will go to broker commissions. [KNAPP - tells of loss of whole investment.] Washington, DC film shown. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said swamped with complaints. Arthur Lord, manager NBC bureau-in Houston, said contacted by telephone salesman. Film of Lord shown. [LORD - answers telephone.] Dempsey Jones identification as Lord contact. Film shown. Jones identification as salesman for Houston office of Cohn Commodities, hdqrtrd. in New Haven, Connecticut. Jones said not registered as telephone commodities salesman with federal government Telephone conversation recorded. Other violations of law said found. Federal Communications Commission regulations forbidding playing a tape on air noted. Conversation quoted. Aspects of conversation shown on screen; faults noted. Markups of nearly 150% on selling price, compared with price asked in London, noted. Stuart Cohn said founder of Cohn Commodities. [COHN - says salesman lied. Says company does not authorize such actions.] Closing of Houston office of Cohn Commodities reported People who ran Cohn office in Houston said to have set up under new name, still selling London options to general public. Fed. government investigation of Cohn and associate reported.
REPORTER: George Lewis