Tuesday, 15 February 2022 08:40

Missouri Man Indicted for Conspiracy to Sell Stolen Catalytic Converters


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An Independence, MO, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for selling millions of dollars in stolen catalytic converters to companies in Missouri, Texas and Louisiana.

James Spick, 56, was charged in a 26-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Feb. 8. The indictment was unsealed and made public Feb. 10 upon Spick’s arrest and initial court appearance.


Spick, the owner of J&J Recycling in Independence, is charged with one count of conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines since Jan. 1, 2018, and 25 counts of transporting stolen property across state lines.


In his salvage business, Spick primarily buys and resells catalytic converters rather than other automotive parts or recyclable items.


Catalytic converters convert toxic gases and pollutants from internal combustion engines into less-toxic pollutants. Catalytic converters contain precious metals such as platinum, rhodium and palladium. Stolen catalytic converters have value because of the precious metals, which can be extracted from the converters.


Beginning in at least 2014, Spick bought catalytic converters at his business from individuals he paid in cash. The cash payments attracted thieves, the indictment said, particularly drug addicts.


Spick resold the catalytic converters to companies in Missouri, Texas and Louisiana. The Texas and Louisiana companies processed the catalytic converters to extract the precious metals.


Over a four-year period from Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2021, the indictment said, Spick received more than $11 million from the sale of catalytic converters.


According to the indictment, Spick withdrew almost $2.5 million in cash from his bank accounts to...

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