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Scrap Metal Company Owner From Allendale Admits Multi-Million Fraud Scheme

The Cinelli brothers hail from Wood-Ridge.
The Cinelli brothers hail from Wood-Ridge. Photo Credit: Cinelli Iron & Metal

ALLENDALE, N.J. -- A scrap metal company owner from Allendale admitted in federal court Thursday that he conned customers out of several million dollars over nearly two decades.

Craig Cinelli, 47, a minority owner of Cinelli Iron & Metal Co. (CIMCO) who hails from Wood-Ridge, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in U.S. District Court in Newark.

David Barteck, 53, of Wood-Ridge, the former chief financial officer of CIMCO, and Michael A. Valenti III, 43, of Hasbrouck Heights, the former senior vice-president of sales at CIMCO, each previously pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy.

SEE: Bergen Scrap Metal Brothers Allegedly Cheated Customers Out Of Millions

SEE: Ex-Hasbrouck Heights Scrap Metal Exec Admits Cheating Customers Out Of Millions

CIMCO, which was headquartered in Secaucus and operated in Hackensack, bought scrap metal for resale based on the type and net weight, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

From 1999 through March of 2016, Fitzpatrick said, Craig Cinelli, his brother, Joseph Cinelli Sr. and others who included Barteck and Valenti bought scrap from customers for less than it should've paid by:

  • altering documents to reflect a lower weight;
  • removing scrap metal from a haul before it was weighed;
  • misrepresenting the types of scrap metal contained in a haul.

They then resold it at a profit.

Cinelli admitted that the cons bilked the victims out of more than $9.5 million.

Sentencing for Craig Cinelli was scheduled for Feb. 15, 2018.

Charges against Joseph Cinelli Sr. of Montvale were still pending, Fitzpatrick said

The U.S. attorney credited special agents with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General; special agents with the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General; and special agents of the FBI with the investigation leading to the guilty plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Shapiro of his Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

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