State Files Racketeering Charges Against Omnisource

Grand Jury Returns Indictment

An ongoing battle between Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi and scrap dealer Omnisource flared up again Monday with the filing of eight racketeering charges against the company.

A grand jury returned an indictment against Omnisource, including three counts of corrupt business influence and five counts of attempted receipt of stolen property.

The indictment alleges the activities took place between June 2007 and May 2009 and involved various metals that were in high demand at the time, including catalytic converters and copper wiring.

"After hearing evidentiary proceedings, the grand jury acted as an independent and thoughtful body of citizen peers and made the decision to render these charges," Brizzi said.

Last week, Omnisource asked a judge to force Brizzi to return more than $277,000 it says was seized as part of a trumped-up investigation.

OmniSource, a Fort Wayne-based subsidiary of Steel Dynamics, claimed in its lawsuit that the probe of its practices was a sham aimed at raising the prosecutor's political profile.

"After almost 20 months it has become clear that this action by the prosecutor has never really been about a legitimate concern about metal theft in Marion County or about a desire for accuracy or justice," OmniSource President Mark Millett said in a news release.

A grand jury began reviewing evidence related to OmniSource in June, more than two years after police raided several scrap yards.

OmniSource has 10 Indiana locations. It also operates in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

The lawsuit, which accuses Brizzi of illegal and unethical conduct, is the latest in a series of reports scrutinizing Brizzi's dealings as prosecutor.

Brizzi, a Republican, has announced he won't seek a third term.