California family admits guilt in $600 million dollar catalytic converter theft criminal enterprise

SACRAMENTO, CA – A family trio from Sacramento, consisting of two brothers and their mother, has admitted their involvement in an extensive national scheme centered around the theft of catalytic converters. This operation, which involved shipping the stolen devices from California to New Jersey, had a staggering value of over $600 million.

Tou Sue Vang, 32, his younger brother Andrew Vang, 28, and their mother Monica Moua, 58, played significant roles in a broader network of criminals that spanned dealers, thieves, and processors. This extensive network was responsible for supplying stolen catalytic converters, pivotal for automobile emission control, to metal refineries. Their collective efforts garnered them more than $600 million, as stated by the U.S. attorney’s office.

Prosecutors have charged 21 individuals from both California and New Jersey in relation to this grand heist. The Sacramento-based family confessed to conspiring in the transportation of these stolen goods, pocketing a sum in excess of $38 million for their contributions.

In addition to the conspiracy charges, Tou Sue Vang faces accusations related to money laundering, with 39 charges levied against him.

Catalytic converters, a hot commodity in the black market due to their valuable metal content, including platinum, have seen increasing demand over the years. In some cases, their price surpasses that of gold, often selling for over $1,000 each in the underground market. Statistics indicate that California is a hotspot for such thefts, contributing to 37% of all reported thefts nationwide. On average, approximately 1,600 converters are stolen in the state each month.