Monday, June 08, 2009

OmniSource Facing More Trouble

Scrap metal giant OmniSource only recently reopened several of its Indianapolis scrap metal yards after an investigation revealed that more than 50 IMPD officers, including the officer in charge of scrap metal thefts, had been working off-duty at its scrap yards, but it's already in more trouble. The company is facing allegations it recently purchased and shredded stolen cars according to WRTV's Jack Rinehart. Donald Perdue is charged with contracting with a towing service to take two cars belonging to his neighbor to OmniSource for their salvage value. "The wrecker service told police that the company tows all of its vehicles to OmniSource because workers at the salvage yards don't ask for paperwork that would verify ownership of the vehicles, as required by law," Rinehart reports. OmniSource didn't have a license to operate as a salvage business according to city officials.

Rinehart says a conclusion of the earlier investigation of OmniSource is expected this week. Investigators have alleged OmniSource used its clout with IMPD officers to target scrap metal competitors in undercover sting operations involving the sale of stolen scrap metal in order to put the competition out of business. At the same time, investigators claim off-duty police overlooked stolen scrap metal purchases made at OmniSource's scrap yards.

One of OmniSource's competitors, TVF's Troy Flanagan, was convicted today on charges of corrupt business influence and receiving stolen property as a result of one of those sting operations. Flanagan's defense attorney, William Hawkins, attempted to introduce evidence of the bias police had against his client because of the role many officers played as off-duty employees of OmniSource according to the Star's Jon Murray. Judge Lisa Borges, a former prosecutor, rebuffed Hawkins pre-trial and trial testimony efforts to offer that evidence. Hawkins asked Borges to recuse herself from the case because of alleged bias, but she turned down his request and found his client guilty. Flanagan faces up to eight years in prison.


Patriot Paul said...

Wow. What a wonderful place to dispose of stolen vehicles. Steal one, use it in a crime spree, then remove the evidence by demolishing it; even getting paid for the scrap!

Paul K. Ogden said...

Can't Omnisource just hire a politically connected lawyer to escape prosecution?

Anonymous said...

I used to consult for a client in the roughest area of South Bronx. If I showed up early enough I would see NYPD tow trucks removing the remains of vehicles that were dropped on the street out front every night by two chop shops that were around the corner.

Rather than bust the chop shops, the cops worked with a scrap dealer and shared in the profits. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?