The owner of a New Jersey-based scrap metal company has been arrested for allegedly orchestrating a scheme to defraud one of his customers, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Officials said Creed White, a/k/a “Dan Stein,” 62, of Freeland, Maryland, is charged by complaint with four counts of wire fraud. White made his initial court appearance today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In early 2017, White contacted the victim through an internet message board and offered to sell the victim aluminum scrap metal. White introduced himself as “Dan Stein.”
White’s company, American Scrap LLC, sold the victim 25 containers of aluminum scrap metal in exchange for wire payments totaling approximately $629,973. The containers were shipped to Korea.
When the first container arrived at its destination, the victim discovered that the container contained dirt and debris and no aluminum scrap metal.
The victim reached out to White to complain and met him in person in Newark in March 2017. White, posing as “Dan Stein,” assured the victim that he would correct the mistake and reimburse the victim for the costs incurred in connection with the container that contained useless waste.
Prior to shipping the next container, White sent the victim photos of the contents of the container.
The photos showed that the container was filled with aluminum scrap.
There was a copy of the New York Post inside the container to document the date the photos were taken. However, each of the remaining containers arrived in Korea was filled with dirt, debris or plastic waste, and no aluminum.
White promised to make the victim whole and sent wire transfers to the victim in the amount of $15,000, but then failed to make good on his promise, causing the victim losses in excess of $600,000.
Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss derived from the offense, whichever is greater.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to these charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sammi Malek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark.