www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/anne-arundel/odenton/bs-md-ar-oil-theft-20140711,0,4191922.story

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Odenton man sentenced to 18 months in waste oil scheme

By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun

7:37 PM EDT, July 11, 2014

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An Odenton man was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Friday after pleading guilty to laundering millions through a scheme involving waste vegetable oil.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz also sentenced Anthony Jean-Claude to three years of probation and ordered him to pay more than $1.5 million in restitution.

Steven H. Levin, Jean-Claude's attorney, said his client recognized the care Motz took in crafting the punishment. "[Jean-Claude] was very remorseful and regretted his conduct and appreciated the consideration that Judge Motz gave him in formulating a fair and just sentence," Levin said.

Jean-Claude, 40, pleaded guilty in February to money laundering. According to his plea agreement, the scheme involved waste vegetable oil, which can be recycled.

According to the plea agreement, in 2010, Jean-Claude teamed with a partner to steal waste oil from restaurants in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, using a flatbed truck and a mechanical pump.

Later, Jean-Claude opened a warehouse in Middle River, where he stored both stolen waste oil and legitimate waste oil from an associate before selling it, according to the agreement.

Jean-Claude and one of his partners created an account that received $1.5 million from oil sales in 2012. The warehouse manager's wife was writing checks from the account and the manager was instructed to cash the checks and use some of the money for warehouse operations and give the rest back to Jean-Claude, according to the plea agreement.

pwood@baltsun.com

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