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Odenton man pleads guilty to money laundering

An Odenton man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to laundering money in a scheme involving stolen waste vegetable oil.

Anthony Jean-Claude, 40, admitted in a plea agreement that he operated a scheme involving waste vegetable oil, which can be recycled into biodiesel fuel or as an additive for animal feed.

According to Jean-Claude's plea agreement filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, he started in 2010 by teaming up 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 and legitimate waste oil before selling it, according to the plea 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, use some of the money for warehouse operations and give the rest back to Jean-Claude.

Prosecutors said Jean-Claude faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for June 10.

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