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Steel Pipe Scam Ends Behind Bars

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

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A Missouri man has been sentenced to 21 months in prison in a multistate scheme to defraud steel pipe manufacturers.

Bobby Gene Prince, age 42, of Pevely, MO, was sentenced Friday (June 22) by U.S. District Judge John A Jarvey in the scam, which victimized companies in Texas, Iowa, Kentucky and Nevada, said Nicholas A Klinefeldt, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa.

 Bobby Gene Prince will serve almost two years in prison for the multistate scheme.
Bobby Gene Prince will serve almost two years in prison for the scheme, which hoodwinked suppliers in three states and a transportation company in a fourth.

Prince previously pleaded guilty in the case to a one-count indictment charging wire fraud.

In addition to the prison time, Prince was ordered to serve three years’ supervised release, pay $100 special assessment to a crime victims’ fund, and to pay restitution to the victims in an amount to be determined at a future court hearing.

Let’s Make a Deal

Authorities said the case dated to April 2009, when Prince contacted a Texas construction company and lied that he owned a steel pipe manufacturing company but was getting out of the business due to bad health. Prince then offered to sell the contractor $200,000 worth of steel pipe for $75,000, specifying that the money should be wired to a bank account in Las Vegas.

After the contractor agreed, Prince posed as an employee of a steel pipe brokerage company and contracted with steel pipe manufacturers in Iowa and Nevada to ship the pipe—on credit and as a rush job—to the Texas contractor.

To pull off the deal, Prince faxed references and bank information for the bogus broker on its letterhead to the pipe manufacturers.

Suspicions

Within a few days, authorities said, pipe shipments began arriving in Texas, carried by a Kentucky transportation company.

However, the Texas contractor became suspicious when the bills of lading indicated that the pipe originated with a manufacturer in Iowa, not with Prince, contacted the Iowa company. After comparing stories, both realized that Prince was running a swindle and contacted the FBI, which investigated.

Prince was indicted in December 2010, but he remained a fugitive until his arrest in October 2011.

   

Tagged categories: Business operations; Criminal acts; Pipeline; Steel

Comment from Charles Williams, (6/27/2012, 7:04 AM)

Idiot...


Comment from Car F., (6/27/2012, 10:48 AM)

Disgusting criminal. Well deserved jail sentence. On the other hand, why there is no jail sentences for irresponsable and negligent employers who kill workers?. Is the monetary value of merchandise held at a higher standard than human lives? Are commercial transaction crimes more important than crimes affecting human lives?


Comment from Richard McLaughlin, (6/28/2012, 12:46 PM)

Yup, you caught us Car... we're more concerned with profit than with lives... (tongue fully in cheek)


Comment from Car F., (6/28/2012, 2:42 PM)

If the jacket fits you, then wear it, but if it doesn't, don't wear it....simple, isn't?


Comment from Gerald Burbank, (6/28/2012, 2:57 PM)

I am pretty sure that employers have been jailed for negligence associated with the death of an employee as well as illegal dumping of hazardous waste. The key words are "negligence" and "illegal". Allowing someone to work and make a living wage in a sometimes dangerous profession (eg. bridge construction, or mining) while at the same time affording the employee the safety training, equipment and direction to protect themselves from harm does not amount to negligence, even when the worker is injured. If you believe otherwise, then tort law would be even more out of hand (eg. none of us would be allowed to drive, and we would end up having to wear seat belts in rocking chairs). People (including employers) should be held to a reasonable standard. In todays system, "irresponsible and negligent employers" are held accountable.


Comment from Mike McCloud, (6/29/2012, 8:24 AM)

Gerald, thats a great idea... after 5:00 I keep falling out of my rocking chair


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