A New Jersey man has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in federal prison after running an interstate scrap metal scam, which involved a fake company allegedly doing business out of Whitefish.
According to the U.S. attorney for the District of Montana, Stephen Salvatore Intrieri of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, was involved in the scheme that bilked investors out of tens of thousands of dollars for scrap metal that never surface.
In 2012, an officer of a New Jersey business called the Whitefish Police Department to report that he had paid $19,000 to a business called Montana Metal Recyclers (MMR) in June for scrap metal. The New Jersey company wired the money to MMR’s bank account at Bank of America, but never heard from MMR again nor did they receive the metal.
The company officer reported to the Whitefish police that Intrieri had defrauded him out of $30,000 in 2009, but the MMR representative called himself Tony Giordano.
Another victim called the Whitefish Police Department as well as the U.S. Secret Service to report that he had paid MMR $95,000 for metal he never received. During the secret service’s investigation, it was revealed that MMR did not have a facility in Whitefish, nor did it have an office at the Whitefish address listed on the incorporation documents.
The Secret Service tracked some of the money paid to MMR to the purchase of a $37,150, three-carat diamond engagement ring that Intrieri bought in 2012 in New Jersey.
Intrieri wired more than $125,000 to his personal bank account from MMR’s Bank of America account, and nearly $10,000 to his fiancée’s bank account. All together, investigators determined he had received $370,000 from various victims in the MMR scheme.
As part of his sentencing, Intrieri was ordered to pay $326,474.36 in restitution.
U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter reminded all Montanans to be wary of “cold calls” promising lucrative returns, particularly if residents have been prior victims of telemarketing fraud.
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