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Press Release

Mastermind of Salvage Yard Scandal Sentenced

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN The mastermind of a salvage yard scandal that defrauded a metal company of more than $750,000 has been sentenced. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentence today.

According to information presented in court, Nick Wright, 44, of Halls, Tennessee, owned and operated Wright’s Auto Parts and Metals, a salvage yard business based in Gates, Tennessee.

In May 2011, Wright contracted with a metal company, Apex, to remove scrap metals from its Springdale, Arkansas facility. Each month, Wright mailed an invoice to Apex that described the type of metal, the total weight of each load, and the weight multiplied by the contract price per pound. Each invoice was accompanied by a check which represented Wright’s payment to Apex for the metal removed by Wright.

Between June 2013 and February 2014, Wright falsified the weights of scrap metal and sent invoices via mail with checks for the falsified amount. He reportedly defrauded Apex of more than $750,000.

In December 2015, Wright pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Samuel H. Mays to one count of mail fraud.

Wright was sentenced by Judge Mays to 36 months imprisonment on Thursday, March 24, 2016. The defendant also consented to forfeiture in the amount of more than $400,000.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Tennessee Highway Patrol; and the 25th District Attorney General’s Office.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Stringfellow prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.

Updated March 24, 2016