SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Everton, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for laundering the proceeds of a scheme to sell spent cooking oil that had been stolen from restaurants and for being a felon in possession of firearms.
John Arnold, 61, of Everton, was charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo.
Today’s indictment charges Arnold with three counts of money laundering. Arnold allegedly sold $237,036 of stolen spent cooking oil to recyclers from May 2010 through August 2011 and used the proceeds of that illegal activity to purchase several vehicles.
Spent cooking oil is the byproduct of cooking oil that restaurants used for frying foods. Restaurants have collection boxes on site in which their used cooking oil is stored. Many restaurants contract with various companies for the collection and removal of spent cooking oil. Arnold operated a spent cooking oil business under the name of J&A located on his property. This business would buy and sell spent cooking oil received from drivers who allegedly stole it from various restaurants, the indictment alleges.
According to the indictment, Arnold used $22,300 of those proceeds to purchase a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado in 2010, $18,100 to purchase a 2009 Chevrolet G3500 in 2010 and $45,100 to purchase a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado in 2011.
The indictment also charges Arnold with being a felon in possession of firearms. Arnold, who has prior felony convictions, was in possession of five firearms on Dec. 3, 2012. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Arnold allegedly was in possession of a Ruger .45-caliber revolver, a Mossberg .12-gauge shotgun, a Savage .22-caliber rifle with no serial number, a Savage .16-gauge shotgun with no serial number and an 8mm Mauser.
The indictment also contains forfeiture allegations, which would require Arnold to forfeit to the government the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado, $90,000 in cash, all of the firearms and 156 rounds of assorted ammunition.
Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Abram McGull II. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.