U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger has unveiled charges against four men from Minnesota in connection to a multi-million-dollar catalytic converter theft operation. The group, consisting of John Kotten, 41, of Hutchinson; Justin Johnson, 32, and Soe Moo, 31, both of St. Paul; and James Dillon, 34, of Minneapolis, is accused of running a sophisticated scheme from May 2020 to October 2022, transporting the stolen converters out-of-state to sell.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, these individuals deceived authorities by purchasing scrap cars, giving the impression of a lawful business. Their alleged illegal activities spanned multiple states, using U-Haul trailers and personal vehicles for transportation. This operation reportedly raked in approximately $21 million for the group.
The charges against the men include interstate transportation of stolen property, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and providing false statements to financial institutions. They made their initial court appearance this Tuesday.”