Toney Addresses State Decision Against Salvage Dealers

Last week, the state revoked the licenses of two salvage dealerships in the Fox Valley. While many people are unsure about the decision – Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney thinks it’s all related to criminal activity. 

Toney explains that “the owner of those businesses was sentenced to prison and pre-paid $6 million in restitution to Sadoff Iron and Metal, which I think ultimately led to the state pursuing that avenue against Kienbaum’s businesses.”

Back in August, Sterling Kienbaum of Oshkosh – who owned both Gibson Iron Metal and Auto Salvage in Neenah and Fox Valley Iron Metal and Auto Salvage of Oshkosh – was sentenced to 11 years in prison, along with ordered to pay $6 million in restitution. Fond du Lac County handled the case, as the company being defrauded was located in the county. 

Toney tells us that “convictions here stemmed from felony theft of essentially stealing money from Sadoff by purporting dirt to be scrap metal so that they would be overpaid, and doing that through a pattern of activity over a 6 or 7 year period that we charged during the criminal complaint – and then the proceeds from those crimes were then ultimately alleged to be used in the Kienbaum businesses.”

About fifty people are expected to be losing their jobs when the businesses close. Toney can’t imagine the state decision could have been an easy decision to make – or to receive. 

He says “honest, hard working people that had nothing to do with Kienbaum’s scheme to defraud Sadoff out of millions of dollars – that those people, because of Kienbaum’s actions may be out of a job. It’s something that probably doesn’t sit well with anybody, even those that filed the paperwork in the state for the closures.”

And while the employees of Kienbaum’s businesses will be losing their jobs, Toney points out that the illegal scheme will also likely have lasting effects on employees at Sadoff. 

He says “this is something that had a pretty significant impact on Sadoff Iron and Metal. The employees, people who work really hard might not be getting raises and other benefits and expansion and being able to advance their company forward.”

Both of Kienbaum’s salvage dealers has been ordered to not take in any more scrapped vehicles and to sell off their inventory. The state decision is forcing both of them to close at the end of the year.