Four Minnesota men charged in catalytic converter scheme that netted millions of dollars

October 26, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal officials have charged four Minnesota men in a multi-million-dollar scheme to transport stolen catalytic converters to buyers in several states.

U.S. Attorney Andy Luger in Minneapolis announced the indictments Tuesday. All four men are charged with conspiracy to transport stolen property interstate with two of the men receiving additional charges.

From May 2020 through October 2022, 41 year-old John Kotten of Hutchinson, 32 year-old Justin Johnson of St. Paul, 31 year-old Soe Nye Moo of St. Paul, and 34 year-old James Jensen of Minneapolis acquired stolen catalytic converters and transported them to buyers, mostly high-volume ones in New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Colorado. The conspiracy allegedly resulted in about $21 million in payments to the men.

Thefts of catalytic converters have become problematic nationwide in recent years. Once stolen, they are often melted down for their valuable metals.