Seven indicted for theft of millions in catalytic converters sold to Arkansas company

The federal Justice Department has announced the indictment of seven people in Missouri for stealing millions worth of catalytic converters and selling them to Arkansas companies.

The news release outlines millions in sales of goods to unidentified companies in Mountain Home and Cherry Valley.

Catalytic converters, which are exhaust emission control devices mandated for all cars and trucks, contain metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium that can be recycled. According to the indictment, Marshall bought junk vehicles and scrapped them out for several years prior to 2019, when he started a company, identified as Company D, to provide the appearance of a legitimate business for his purchase, transportation, and sale of stolen catalytic converters.

In the fall of 2019, two co-owners of a firm identified in the indictment as Company C, located in Mountain Home, Arkansas, asked Marshall to buy catalytic converters from the Springfield area and sell them to their company. Company C purchased and sold automotive cores, which refers to automotive parts that can be recycled, including catalytic converters. In addition to selling them catalytic converters from junk vehicles he had purchased from salvage yards, the indictment says, Marshall began to buy stolen catalytic converters from co-conspirators and sell them to Company C.

The owners of Company C purchased tens of thousands of catalytic converters from Marshall from December 2019 through October 2021. According to the indictment, Marshall received more than $6.8 million from Company C, which was, in part, payment for stolen catalytic converters. Marshall loaded between 800 and 1,200 catalytic converters onto trailers and transported them to Company C approximately every two to three weeks. The transports allegedly included stolen catalytic converters.

Marshall allegedly withdrew more than $6.4 million in cash from his bank account, which he used, in part, to promote future purchases of stolen catalytic converters. Marshall provided Davis, Ryder, and others with thousands of dollars in cash to promote future purchases of stolen catalytic converters during the conspiracy.

The owners of Company C sold the catalytic converters they purchased from Marshall to another firm, identified in court documents as Company A, located in Cherry Valley, Ark., which purchased and sold automotive cores, including catalytic converters. Company A paid the owners of Company C $3,247,135 between Dec. 4, 2019, and July 14, 2020. At that point, Company A began selling the catalytic converters they purchased from Marshall to another firm, identified in court documents as Company B, located in Farmington, Mo., which purchased automotive cores, including catalytic converters. Between June 2020 and October 2021, Company B paid Company C more than $18 million. According to the indictment, approximately 32 percent of the catalytic converters Company C sold to Company A and Company B were purchased from Marshall.

On July 5, 2021, Marshall allegedly purchased stolen catalytic converters from an undercover agent and paid $1,030.

On Oct. 15, 2021, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Marshall’s residence and seized 67 firearms and $125,000 in cash. The prior evening or morning of the search, however, Marshall learned of the impending law enforcement action and moved 197 catalytic converters from his residence to another location in order to conceal the catalytic converters from law enforcement.

Marshall has remained in federal custody without bond since his arrest on the original criminal complaint, which was filed on Oct. 20, 2021.

Evan Marshall, 24, and Camren Davis, 24, both of Rogersville, and Cody Ryder, 30, Leslie Ice, 37, his wife, Danielle Ice, 33, Eric Kaltenbach, 37, and Enx Khoshaba, 29, all of Springfield, were charged in a four-count superseding indictment Jan. 24. The indictment replaced the indictment returned against Marshall on Nov. 17  and includes additional defendants.

Thefts of the converters became so widespread that a number of states, including Arkansas last year, enacted laws to require scrap dealers to maintain records on purchases of used converters.

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