Minority owner of Secaucus scrap metal company gets 33 months for wire fraud


The minority owner of a defunct Secaucus scrap metal company has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for participating in a conspiracy that defrauded customers out of millions of dollars, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Photo via www.cinelli-iron-metal.com.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Craig Cinelli, 49, of Allendale, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to one count that charged him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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 before Wigenton to participating in the conspiracy.

Cinelli is scheduled to be sentenced November 4th, while Barteck is scheduled to be sentenced on November 6th.

CIMCO, which was headquartered in Secaucus, purchased scrap metal for resale and operated three scrap metal recycling facilities in New Jersey.

CIMCO trucks would deliver scrap metal containers to customer job sites and remove them after they were filled. CIMCO then purportedly paid customers based on the type and net weight of the scrap material.

From 1999 through March of 2016, Craig Cinelli, his brother, Joseph Cinelli Sr., Barteck, Valenti, and others allegedly used a variety of fraudulent business practices to buy scrap metal from CIMCO’s customers for less than CIMCO should have paid. The company then resold the scrap metal at a profit.

Instead of paying the proper, agreed-upon amounts for the actual weight, members of the conspiracy used a variety of techniques to misrepresent the true weight and type of the scrap metal, including altering documents to reflect a lower weight, removing scrap metal from a haul before it was weighed and misrepresenting the types of scrap metal contained in a haul.

Cinelli admitted that the loss caused by the conspiracy that was reasonably foreseeable to him was more than $9.5 million, but less than $25 million.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Cinelli to three years of supervised release. Restitution will be determined at a later date.

Charges against Joseph Cinelli Sr. were dismissed following his death in 2018.

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