Two Plead Guilty in Theft of Cooking Oil from Restaurants in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
PROVIDENCE, RI—Andrew Jeremiah, 78, and his brother, Bruce Jeremiah, 72, of Cranston, R.I., owners and operators of Jeremiah Motors Corp., and Removal Services and Green Energy, in Central Falls, R.I., have pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence to conspiring to sell and transport used cooking oil stolen from restaurants in Rhode Island and Massachusetts to a processing plant in New Hampshire for processing to animal feed and biofuel.
Andrew and Bruce Jeremiah pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully transport stolen goods with a value in excess of $5,000. They each face a statutory penalty of up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when they are sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on December 4, 2014. In addition, the defendants will forfeit $44,730 in cash and a 1984 Ford F700 truck seized from them during the investigation.
The guilty pleas are announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI; and Central Falls Police Chief James J. Mendonca. Anthony Simone, Sr., 60, of Cranston, a co-defendant in this matter, pleaded guilty on August 21, 2013, to one count each of conspiracy to transport in interstate commerce stolen goods and transport in interstate commerce stolen goods. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on October 1, 2014.
According to information presented to the court, between January 1, 2011, and November 9, 2012, Andrew and Bruce Jeremiah conspired to steal used vegetable cooking oil from restaurants in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and to sell the product to a New Hampshire company that specializes in processing used cooking oil for use in animal feed and biofuel. During that time, Anthony Simone, Sr., was provided lists of businesses in Rhode Island and Massachusetts where quantities of used cooking oil could be found. About three times a week, between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m., Simone, using a truck registered to Jeremiah Motors, visited those businesses and others, and, without permission from the businesses, pumped the used cooking oil into a storage tank on the truck. The used cooking oil was transported to the Central Falls industrial facility operated by the Jeremiah brothers.
At the direction of the Jeremiahs, a New Hampshire company regularly sent tanker trucks to the Central Falls facility where the defendants loaded between 2,000 and 7,000 gallons of used vegetable oil per trip. More than 200,000 gallons of used cooking oil was stolen and sold to the New Hampshire processing plant.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.
The matter was investigated by the Central Falls Police Department and the FBI.
To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/justice101/.