NEW YORK A Tampa, Fla.-based scrap recycling company has been accused of scrapping and selling stolen commercial trailers at its facility in Georgia.
Alabama Motor Express Inc. and Great West Casualty Co., a Nebraska-based insurer, have filed a lawsuit in Bibb County (Ga.) Superior Court alleging that KT Recycling LLC and its former proprietors, Hung L. Wu and Chuyen D. Wu, knowingly scrapped four semitrailers worth more than $53,000, insured by Great West, that were stolen from Alabama Motor Express last September.
The suit also alleges that KT Recycling had scrapped and sold approximately 80 stolen trailers in the past, "establish(ing) a pattern of racketeering activity of obtaining trailers and salvaging or scrapping them."
Great West is seeking $40,407 in damages incurred through its coverage of the stolen trailers, while Alabama Motor Express is seeking to recoup damages of $12,862 not covered by the insurer. They also are seeking punitive damages
Macon, Ga.-based A&M Metals Processing of Georgia LLC bought KT Recycling last October, according to an A&M employee. Earlier that month, a Georgia man, Bradley K. Blackshear, was arrested and charged with 21 counts of felony theft for allegedly selling stolen commercial-type trailers to KT Recycling, according to a media release from the Bibb County Sheriffs Office. The trailers were all found on KT Recyclings property in Macon.
The A&M Metals employee told AMM that the company had no involvement in the alleged incidents and cooperated with police to facilitate the recovery of stolen items.
An undercover sting operation in Georgia in July last year resulted in the arrest of three employees from KT Recycling and Schnitzer Southeast, a subsidiary of Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc., for allegedly purchasing coil without proper documentation (amm.com, July 23, 2012).
Anti-theft laws put into effect last year mandating that recycling companies document the drivers license and vehicle tag number of sellers reportedly have resulted in a drop in metal thefts in Georgia.