A 60-year-old Joplin man has pleaded guilty in a scheme to sell more than $5.8 million of used cooking oil that was stolen from restaurants across five states, including Tulsa.
The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri says Jeffery Lynn Fleming admitted Tuesday in federal court to transporting stolen goods across state lines, money laundering and filing a false tax return.
In a news release, Tammy Dickinson says the fraudulent sales happened in 2010 and 2011 while Fleming was operating Fleming Recycling in Carterville, Missouri. Federal prosecutors say that undercover agents repeatedly told him that the spent cooking oil he was purchasing and selling to Brooks Grease Service, a grease recycling business in Tulsa was stolen.
Jeffery Fleming also admitted that he significantly underreported his gross receipts on his 2007 federal income tax return.
Fleming’s brother and co-defendant, Brian Dale Fleming, 49, of Mountain Grove, Missouri, pleaded guilty in November 2015, to his role in the conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines and to money laundering.
Under the terms of their plea agreements, Dickinson said Jeffery and Brian Fleming must forfeit to the government $595,429 that was seized by law enforcement officers, which was derived from the sale of stolen spent cooking oil.