Man convicted in multi-million dollar scrap metal scheme

FOND DU LAC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A 53-year-old man has been found guilty of Racketeering and Felony Theft for his role in a scrap metal scheme.

Sterling Kienbaum, owner of Fox Valley Iron and Metal, schemed to steal more than $14 million from Sadoff's Iron and Metal Company between 2009 and 2015.

The Fond du Lac County District Attorney says Kienbaum was found guilty of the charges on Jan. 11 after entering "no content" pleas to the charges.

A criminal complaint states Kienbaum loaded scrap vehicles with dirt to increase the weight, and thus the price, for scrap metal.

Kienbaum would make cash payments to Fox Valley worker Daniel Christianson and deliver the scrap cars loaded with dirt to Sadoff's.

Christianson would then pay off Donald Krueger, an employee at Sadoff's.

Krueger would make sure Kienbuam's scrap loads were accepted at Sadoff's within the tolerance limits.

The complaint states Krueger was aware the vehicles were overloaded with dirt.

Once the scheme was uncovered, Sadoff's hired a forensic accountant to determine the losses. The total came to $14,324,495.

Kienbaum faces up to 15 years in prison for the Racketeering charge and up to 25 years in prison for the Felony Theft charge.

Restitution hearings are scheduled for May 2, 3, and 4. Kinebuma's sentencing is scheduled for June 5.

Daniel Christianson and Donald Krueger have both been convicted of Felony Theft for their role in the scheme. They also have open Racketeering cases.

Krueger has a plea hearing scheduled for Feb. 6.

Christianson's next court appointment is Jan. 30.

DA Eric Toney says this was a complex investigation. "I commend Sadoff's and those impacted by this crime for their patience throughout this lengthy investigation and process," Toney's statement reads.