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By Daniel Wagner, Center for Public Integrity 

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Bill Nelson, D-Fla.; and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. hear testimony from Karl Spicer, who admits to having scammed people out of thousands of dollars by hawking investments in gold and silver. U.S. Senate photograph

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Bill Nelson, D-Fla.; and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. hear testimony from Karl Spicer, who admits to having scammed people out of thousands of dollars by hawking investments in gold and silver. U.S. Senate photograph

A key government agency that oversees financial derivatives could remain without a permanent leader until the man nominated to run it shows he plans to crack down on investment scams involving precious metals.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said Wednesday that he will block the nomination Timothy Massad to chair the Commodity Futures Trading Commission until they can have “a conversation” about the scams in which firms pressure investors, especially the elderly, to put their money in precious metals like gold and silver.