Kansas City man admits embezzlement involving scrap metal

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View of scrap metal carried by Venezuelans who crossed from Venezuela through “Trochas” – illegal trails – near the Simon Bolivar International Bridge in Villa del Rosario, Norte de Santander, Colombia on February 13, 2019. – A crowd of Venezuelans overwhelmed by daily hardships in their crisis-torn country, have turned into scrap merchants, embarking in processions along clandestine trails leading to neighbouring Colombia in their struggle to make ends meet. (Photo by Raul ARBOLEDA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A 47-year-old Kansas City man pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $388,000 in a scheme involving scrap metal.

Russell Fotovich pleaded guilty Wednesday to participating in a wire fraud conspiracy and filing a false tax return.

Federal prosecutors say Fotovich worked as a facilities engineer at DST Systems when it was undergoing renovation from 2011 to 2016. During that time, he and others redeemed scrap metal from DST and kept most of the proceeds for themselves.

The conspirators also persuaded DST to buy an industrial wire-stripping machine, which increased the redemption value of the scrap metal. Prosecutors say the thefts increased more than tenfold after DST bought the machine.

Fotovich agreed to forfeit more than $138,000 to the government and also must pay restitution.

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