On October 5, 2018, Frank Aiello was charged via information in U.S. District Court, Newark, New Jersey, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He pleaded guilty on the same day.
Aiello was a former senior vice president of a national demolition and remediation services company, referred to here as Corporate Victim 1 (CV-1). The information alleged that, from approximately 2013 through 2016, he conspired with principals of Cinelli Iron & Metal Co. (CIMCO), a New Jersey-based scrap metal recycling company. Specifically, he used his position at CV-1 to enrich himself by soliciting and accepting bribes and other things of value from CIMCO and, in exchange, awarded contracts to CIMCO. Aiello is suspected of soliciting and accepting payments totaling $341,052.
This plea was part of a broader investigation into CIMCO, its principals, and its officers, some of whom were previously indicted on, or pleaded guilty to, fraud charges. CIMCO had multiple contracts with several DOT grantees, including the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The company hauled scrap metal from MTA depots and corporate jobsites, weighed the metal, and purchased it from the contracting agencies based on its weight. 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.
Sentencing for Aiello has been scheduled for January 15, 2019.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation 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.