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Scrap Metal Company Owner From Allendale Gets Time In Fed Pen For Multi-Million Fraud Scheme

The Cinellis hailed from Wood-Ridge.
The Cinellis hailed from Wood-Ridge. Photo Credit: Cinelli Iron & Metal

A scrap metal company owner from Allendale was sentenced Wednesday to 33 months in federal prison for conning customers out of several million dollars over nearly two decades.

Craig Cinelli, 49, a Cinelli Iron & Metal Co. (CIMCO) minority owner who hails from Wood-Ridge, must serve nearly all of the sentence. There's no parole in the federal prison system.

Two years ago, Cinelli pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Newark to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Several developments followed.

The government dismissed charges against his brother, 62-year-old CIMCO majority owner Joseph Cinelli Sr. of Montvale, after he died a year ago this Friday.

Last week, a former national demolition company senior vice president from Wyckoff was sentenced to six months in federal prison and six months of home confinement for taking $341,052 in payoffs from CIMCO.

David Barteck, 53, of Wood-Ridge, the former chief financial officer of CIMCO, and Michael A. Valenti III, 43, of Hasbrouck Heights, the company's former senior vice-president of sales, are scheduled for sentencing in early November for their roles in the conspiracy.

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, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

From 1999 through March of 2016, Carenito said, the Cinellis 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.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton sentenced Cinelli in Newark to three years of supervised release. Restitution will be determined at a later date, Carpenito said.

Cinelli admitted in November 2017 that the cons bilked the victims out of more than $9.5 million.

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

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 Carpenito's Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

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