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NORTHERN INDIANA STEEL SUPPLY CO. v. COZZI

September 6, 1989

NORTHERN INDIANA STEEL SUPPLY COMPANY, an Indiana Corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN P. COZZI, JR., Anthony COZZI, d/b/a/ COZZI Metals, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ASPEN

 MARVIN E. ASPEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Plaintiff Northern Indiana Steel Supply Company (NISSCO) brought this action for fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud against defendants John P. Cozzi, Jr., Anthony Cozzi, Frank Cozzi, Joseph Cozzi and A.M. Cozzi Metals (AMC). Having heard the testimony, reviewed the evidence and considered the parties' legal memoranda, we enter the following findings of fact and conclusions of law, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 52. *fn1" For the reasons stated in these findings and conclusions, we find that the defendants engaged in fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud and enter judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $ 154,879.90, plus statutory interest and costs.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. NISSCO is a Delaware corporation having its principal place of business in Michigan City, Indiana. NISSCO is engaged in the purchase, sale and processing of scrap metal.

 2. NISSCO consists of two operating divisions, AMI Metals and Burns Baling. AMI Metals is an ordinary scrap yard located in Michigan City, Indiana. Burns Baling is a specialized scrap yard which is located on the property of Midwest Steel Division of the National Steel Corporation in Portage, Indiana. The primary function of Burns Baling is to convert large quantities of scrap metal into bales or bundles.

 3. John P. Cozzi, Jr., Anthony Cozzi, Frank Cozzi and Joseph Cozzi are residents and citizens of Illinois who formed and, at all times relevant to this action, were principals of AMC.

 4. AMC is a partnership having its principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois. At all times relevant to this action, AMC was engaged in the business of purchasing and selling scrap metal.

 5. A "clip" is a piece of scrap material that is less than 1/4 of an inch thick and greater than 12 inches in its other dimensions. Clips resemble sheets of scrap iron. They are frequently compressed into bales or bundles measuring approximately 24 inches by 24 inches by 60 inches long. A "black clip" is a particular type of clip, consisting of a premium grade of scrap material.

 6. Burns Baling purchases metal clips from plants and dealers in the area and arranges for the delivery of these clips to its facility at the Midwest Steel site. Burns Baling then compresses these clips into bales or bundles, inventories the clips and then stores them on its premises for the purpose of future sales to steel mills.

 8. In the ordinary course of its business, Burns Baling generates "weigh tickets" upon the delivery of scrap material into its facility at the Midwest Steel site. These weigh tickets identify the party from whom the material is to be received and reflect measurements of the loaded as well as unloaded weight of a truck or other conveyance delivering the material. The purpose of these weigh tickets is to calculate the net weight of scrap material received by Burns Baling.

 9. At all times relevant to this action, Burns Baling was under the operation, supervision and control of Richard Wolfe ("Wolfe"), its President.

 10. At all times relevant to this action, Syl Yagelski ("Yagelski") was the immediate subordinate of Wolfe. Yagelski had been terminated in November, 1985, but remained at the yard for several months thereafter.

 11. At all times relevant to this transaction, Donna Hall ("Hall") was a weighmaster clerk employed by Burns Baling.

 12. On or about January 2, 1986, Wolfe prepared or caused to be prepared Purchase Contract No. 8505 (Pltf. Ex. 1) which purports to provide for the purchase of approximately 1,000 gross tons of black sheet clips at a price of $ 75.00 per gross ton. This contract identifies Burns Baling as the purchaser and defendant AMC as the seller.

 13. The January 2, 1986 Purchase Contract bears the signature of Wolfe, in his former capacity as President of Burns Baling. It further reflects acceptance on January 8, 1986 by the defendant ...


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