Investigations

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FTA Suspends New Jersey Scrap Metal Company and Principals

On September 15, 2017, FTA instituted immediate suspensions against Cinelli Iron & Metal Co. (CIMCO) and co-owners Joseph Cinelli, Sr., and Craig Cinelli. Additional suspensions, with proposals for debarment, were instituted against Michael Valenti III, CIMCO’s former senior vice president of sales, and David Barteck, former chief financial officer.
 
CIMCO, previously headquartered in Secaucus, NJ, was in the business of buying, transporting, and reselling scrap metal from construction sites in the tristate area. CIMCO had multiple contracts with several DOT grantees, such as the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New Jersey Transit. CIMCO hauled scrap metal from MTA depots and corporate jobsites, weighed the metal, and then purchased it from the contracting agencies based on its weight. It was alleged that, between approximately 1999 and March 2016, CIMCO fraudulently underreported the weight of scrap metal hauls in order to pay less than the contractually obligated amounts; fraudulently altered required weight tickets used for obtaining reimbursement; and used magnets to reduce scrap metal loads prior to weighing.
 
In July and August 2017, David Barteck and Michael Valenti III, respectively, each pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Newark, New Jersey, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Their sentencings are pending. In August 2017, Craig Cinelli and Joseph Cinelli, Sr., were indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud. Those charges are pending.
 
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation jointly with the Department of Labor OIG and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey.
 
Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time and the System for Award Management (Sam.gov) should be consulted to find out whether a party is currently excluded.