New Jersey Resident Convicted of Interstate Robbery
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 18, 2010|
HOUSTON—A reputed mafia enforcer who traveled from New Jersey to Houston in order to obtain money from a Houston businessman has been convicted by a jury, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
Steven T. Carr, 39, who previously resided in the Newark, New Jersey area, was convicted of one count of interference with interstate commerce and one count of conspiring to interfere with interstate commerce today.
During trial, the government presented evidence proving that, in early 2008, a company owned by co-defendant Siddartha Oberoi, 34, of Clearwater, Florida, entered into a scrap metal transaction with the Houston businessman. Oberoi’s company intended to sell the scrap metal, which originated from a producer in Trenton, N.J., to customers in India.
After purchasing more than $254,000 worth of scrap metal from the Houston businessman, Oberoi’s company was rebuffed when the Indian customer refused to pay after declaring the product to be of poor quality. An associate introduced Oberoi to Carr, who accompanied Oberoi to meet with the scrap metal producer in Trenton. After being turned away, Carr and Oberoi traveled to Houston on May 13, 2008, to confront the businessman at his office. During the confrontation, Carr and allegedly Oberoi assaulted the businessman by hitting him and threatening him with a metal lock. The Houston businessman was then forced by Carr, and allegedly Oberoi, to write six checks totaling $275,000. Carr cashed his check for $25,000 the next day at a Wells Fargo branch located in Houston before returning to New Jersey.
On both counts of conviction, Carr faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, a $250,000 fine and a three-year-term of supervised release. Carr has been in federal custody since his arrest and will remain in custody pending his sentencing hearing set for Feb. 18, 2011, at 10:15 a.m.
Oberoi, who is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law, is pending trial, before U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein on Dec. 13, 2010. Oberoi is on bond.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by special agents of the FBI’s Organized Crime Strike Force. Assistant United States Attorneys Jay Hileman and David Searle are prosecuting the case.