(LibertySociety.com) – Extracting valuable metals out of stolen catalytic converters, a crime that is more common than people may think, is a lucrative business. Alan Pawelsky and his brother Andrew could be looking at 25 years in prison after being charged with multiple crimes, 81 to be exact, including money laundering, possession of stolen property, as well as conspiracy charges. The pair, along with a co-conspirator, is accused of buying stolen converters and siphoning metals, including “platinum, palladium and rhodium” which brought in a significant amount of money for the brothers.
During one operation, the brothers allegedly made over $170 million by taking the metals to a refinery after they extracted them from the catalytic converters at Ace Auto Recycling, which is owned by Alan. Wire transfers were then sent to the bank account of his recycling company. The co-conspirator, Jovanie Clark, was also indicted for his role in the scheme, which includes his sales of the catalytic converters to Andrew Pawelsky.
The pair had been under investigation for quite some time, which resulted in a raid of their homes by Long Island, New York police. Around $4 million was recovered collectively from both Pawelsky homes, in addition to “thousands of stolen catalytic converters.” Police also discovered several machines that the Pawelsky brothers had been using to retrieve the precious metals from the converters, with the department also noting that other government agencies were involved in the investigation and seizure of evidence.
Of the three types of metal that the Pawelsky brothers received money for, rhodium is worth the most, with an average price of $7,500 an ounce, according to Fox News. The brothers and the co-conspirator were arraigned and entered their plea of not guilty, with Clark released with no bond and a maximum penalty of seven years in prison if he is found guilty of the charges against him. The Pawelsky brothers were not as lucky and were required to put up bail and bond money.
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