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Two accused of multimillion-dollar theft

Keywords: Tags  scrapyard, OmniSource, Charles King, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — A Georgia recycler has reopened after law enforcement officials descended on the facility in an investigation of the alleged theft of scrap metal worth millions of dollars from OmniSource Corp.

Jarrell’s Top Dollar Recycling in Garden City was shut down Tuesday while the Georgia Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police officers retrieved documents to try to determine how much material Charles King Jr. had sold to the scrapyard.

King’s father, Charles King Sr.—a former employee of OmniSource Swainsboro—allegedly turned a blind eye while his son removed scrap metal worth millions of dollars.

"The company intends to pursue this to the fullest criminal and civil extent that the law allows," an OmniSource spokesman told AMM.

Effingham County Sheriff’s Department has charged the son with theft by taking and charged the father with racketeering and theft by taking. The two are suspected of stealing between $4.5 million and $6 million of OmniSource scrap over a four- to six-year period.

Jarrell’s Top Dollar reopened Wednesday, according to a manager at the yard, who declined to comment further.

"An investigation is in progress and it is a very large investigation conducted by state police, the Georgia FBI and local police because it is multicounty incident," according to a spokesman for Middle Judicial Circuit district attorney Hayward Altman, who is spearheading the investigation.

Altman told AMM that he is reviewing Jarrell’s Top Dollar Recycling’s banking and business records to determine the volume of sales King Jr. made at the yard, and expects more charges to follow when the audit is concluded.

Effingham County Sheriff’s Office deputies became suspicious after a traffic stop in February, when King Jr. allegedly claimed to be scrapping some material from a yard cleanup.

"You don’t use a tandem-axle dump-bed trailer to haul a little bit of scrap from your yard. It’d cost you more in gas than you’d receive for the metal," Effingham County Sheriff Deputy Mathew Petrea, who conducted the traffic stop, said in a television interview.

Petrea said it didn’t appear to be yard debris, as there was about 55,000 pounds of stainless steel in the back of the truck. He told the local television station that he contacted King Sr. at OmniSource after the incident but was assured there was no problem.

The two Kings could not be reached for comment.

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