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Grand jury indicts recycler for racketeering

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A Marion County grand jury has returned an eight-count indictment against OmniSource Corp., accusing the metal recycling powerhouse of racketeering and receiving stolen property.

OmniSource, a unit of Fort Wayne-based Steel Dynamics Inc., is charged with buying stolen cars, car parts, boats, gutters, wiring and other items as scrap metal prices climbed between June 2007 and May 2009.

In a statement, OmniSource president Mark Millett called the allegations "unfounded," saying the company is an industry leader in "anti-theft training and law enforcement cooperation." The company hired more than 50 Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers to help detect and deter metal theft.

"This indictment of OmniSource is not only unfair to the company but an insult to the IMPD police officers who ... did their part to stop metal thefts in Marion County,” he said in the statement.

Officers from the IMPD, FBI, Indiana State Police and other agencies raided the six Indianapolis scrap yards operated by OmniSource in February 2009, collecting evidence and seizing property and more than $277,000. The raids were the culmination of a year-long undercover investigation.

The grand jury returned the 16-page indictment Oct. 22, and it was filed in Marion Circuit Court on Monday.

OmniSource is charged with three counts of corrupt business influence and five counts of attempted receipt of stolen property. The indictment details dozens of allegations, which Millett said the company will "aggressively" defend itself against.

This month, the company sued Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, seeking the return of the seized cash. OmniSource said the investigation was a sham intended to raise Brizzi’s political profile.  

As IBJ reported in April, the Prosecutor’s Office missed a deadline to file forfeiture paperwork, likely paving the way for OmniSource to reclaim the money.

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