Law enforcement

State Police Investigating Allegations of Missing Scrap Recycling Proceeds

A suburban township’s road district is facing serious questions about its record keeping upon allegations that proceeds from its scrap metal recycling went missing.

The Illinois State Police confirms it is investigating allegations of missing money at the Oswego Township road district. It is not clear if any charges will be filed.

Concerned resident Leah Philpot said she received a tip about the township’s scrap metal recycling methods. She later filed open records requests asking for information about the road district’s cash deposits. Philpot said her research compared the value of street signs being purchased to the value of scrap metal being recycled the township.

According to Philpot, there are missing deposit records for nearly $2,000 in scrap metal recycling proceeds.

“Everyone understands losing receipts, but losing all of them is a problem,” Philpot said.

Philpot brought up the issue at a July meeting of the Oswego Township. According to the meeting’s minutes, the township attorney explained that the township could not comment due to the ongoing investigation.

NBC 5 Investigates contacted the township supervisor for comment. While he declined to provide a statement due to the open investigation, he said he is guessing that there will be answers within several weeks.

The $65 billion scrap recycling industry is taking a stand against potential theft, especially as the price of copper remains at around $3 per pound.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries said it works with law enforcement to limit potential theft.

“That is the problem we have is identifying what is legally generated as scrap and what could have been stolen,” said ISRI member Frank Cozzi of Cozzi Recycling.

Cozzi, who owns a scrap recycling plant, said his workers are trained to spot potential stolen theft such as sewer grates and other public works metals.

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