How's this for a get-rich-quick scheme?
These two brothers in New York allegedly spent 18 months stealing catalytic converters and turning that into a multi-million dollar business.
According to the District Attorney in Nassau County, NY who charged the brothers, as well as testimony from their friend, the men were buying stolen catalytic converters from all over the US, even as far away as California, to siphon and sell the precious metals from inside.
According to the charges, Alan and Andrew Palensky made $170 million from this scam.
And that's just from one of the refineries they sold to.
Split between three people, that's some SERIOUS cash.
The Pawelsky brothers were arraigned in front of Judge Helen Gugerty on first- and second-degree money laundering, second- third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen propert and fourth-degree conspiracy.
The brothers pled not guilty to these charges and are being held on a half-a-million-dollar bond.
(I'd say they're probably able to afford it.)
Their accomplice was also arrested and charged in the crimes.
Jovanie Clark, 29, of Flushing, Queens was also arraigned on Friday, on charges of third-degree grand larceny, third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, second-degree auto stripping, second-degree criminal mischie[f] and possession of burglar tools.
This all took place between June 2021 and December 2022.
The brothers would allegedly buy masses of stolen catalytic converters with cash by the truckload and then use their special tools to get the platinum, palladium, and rhodium out from the inside.
They were like catalytic converter specialists, reportedly using their auto salvage business as a front.
The brothers face up to 25 years in prison for their scam and the accomplice is looking at 9.
This is all part of a trend of catalytic converter thefts that is on the rise.