Scrap fraud cases prosecuted in Wisconsin and California

Scrap fraud cases prosecuted in Wisconsin and California

One case involved $14 million in fraud, while the other entailed more than $450,000 in theft.

January 15, 2018
Edited by Dan Sandoval

Two separate scrap metal-related incidents involving either fraud or material theft have reached a verdict or plea agreement. One case occurred in Wisconsin and the other in California, with each case involving substantial amounts of money.

In a circuit court in Wisconsin, Sterling Kienbaum, the owner of Fox Valley Iron and Metal, has been found guilty of a scheme to defraud Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based Sadoff Iron and Metal Co. of an estimated $14 million between 2008 and 2015.

According to an online report from Fox 11 TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Kienbaum pleaded no contest to the charges in early January 2018.

The criminal complaint indicates Kienbaum worked in collaboration with two Sadoff employees and loaded scrap shipments partially with dirt to increase their weight, receiving payment from Sadoff as if the loads were cleaner material.

A hearing to determine whether restitution methods are available has been scheduled for early May 2018, and Kienbaum’s sentencing hearing is approximately one month after that. The two former Sadoff employees involved have been convicted and placed on probation by the court.

A copy of the full criminal complaint in the case can be viewed on this web page.

In California in early January 2018, Carl Means entered guilty pleas to felony charges of grand theft and income tax evasion, according to a news release issued by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.

Means was accused of using his position at AMG Resources Corp. in Lathrop, California, to covertly transfer raw material from his employer’s facility to a different recycler in Atwater, California, for personal payments of $455,000 or more between August 2013 and May 2016.

Means also was accused of filing state income tax returns for the tax years of 2013, 2014 and 2015 without declaring the money he pocketed from his scrap-related scheme. He is scheduled to be sentenced in late March 2018.