DA: Contractors ripped off taxpayers in trash-for-cash scheme

One man's trash is another man's treasure, but three men are accused of taking the old saying too far by ripping off hundreds of thousands

BABYLON - One man's trash is another man's treasure, but three men are accused of taking the old saying too far by ripping off hundreds of thousands of dollars from taxpayers in a stolen recyclables scheme. Officials say two men, William Stegeman and Michael Dalessandro, of a company called Jodi Enterprises, were contracted by the Town of Smithtown to collect recyclable cardboard and paper. But instead of taking their entire loads to the town recycling plant, investigators say they would sell portions of their collections to a West Babylon salvage yard. Investigators say the contractors would sell the recyclables directly to Joseph DeMatteo, owner of DeMatteo's Salvage Yard, for cash. The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office say the scheme ripped off more than $200,000 from Smithtown taxpayers. The district attorney says none of the contracted trucks used GPS tracking devices, something that other towns require to monitor truck routes for diversions. All three men are facing grand larceny charges.

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