Feds: Couple sold nearly $267,000 worth of stolen HVAC parts on eBay

Federal agents could be seen taking boxes from this home at 7029 St. Joe Road on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
Federal agents could be seen taking boxes from this home at 7029 St. Joe Road on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A couple arrested during a federal investigation at a home on the city’s north side Tuesday are accused of selling nearly $267,000 worth of parts on eBay that had been stolen from a Huntington manufacturing plant where one of them worked.

FBI spokesman David Crawford has identified the pair as Dean and Linda Zimmerman. Both face federal charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property in U.S. District Court.

Dean Zimmerman

According to the federal complaint unsealed Thursday, Dean Zimmerman stole electronic control boards, control circuits and other electronic components for HVAC systems from the Huntington plant he worked at for more than 15 years, then he and Linda Zimmerman sold them on eBay.

The company, which was not named in the complaint, provided federal investigators with an inventory that showed from April 2013 to January 2016, more than 12,000 parts had gone unaccounted for – a loss of more than $266,000.

NewsChannel 15 has since learned Dean Zimmerman worked at UTEC and the company issued the following statement regarding the case, “We are aware of the investigation and are cooperating with authorities.”

Dean Zimmerman admitted to the scheme to federal investigators, according to the complaint which includes details of the business “HVAC Discount Parts LLC.” that had been set up by the Zimmermans.  PayPal records show deposits to a checking account associated with the business totaled $364,500 during a period from October 1, 2015 through April 29, 2016.

The complaint indicates that Zimmerman would access a warehouse at UTEC where the parts were stored, fill a box with the parts and put them in his truck.  He would then take them to a storage facility in Fort Wayne.  A inventory check showed that over 12,000 parts identical to the ones being sold on eBay by the Zimmerman’s had turned up missing.

The case reached a head Tuesday when federal agents raided the Zimmerman’s St. Joe Road home, several unmarked police cars parked around the single-story home and FBI agents moving in and out. The Indiana State Police SWAT team as well as officers with the Fort Wayne Police Department were also at the home in a back-up capacity.

Federal agents removed several boxes from the home, and a box truck and van was backed up to an attached garage.

Linda Zimmerman

 

The FBI was conducting an investigation at this home at 7029 St. Joe Road on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
The FBI was conducting an investigation at this home at 7029 St. Joe Road on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

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