Police: Arrest warrants issued in connection with $1 million scam

Multiple arrest warrants have been issued in relation to a trail of criminal activity resulting in the theft of more than $1 million from a Fulton County business, authorities said.

Police began an investigation in mid-April when Waste Management Inc. made a complaint regarding Willow Oak Landfill, which it owns, following an anonymous tip and a private investigation, according to the Palmetto Police Department today.

The scam, which reportedly went on for two years, cost the business an estimated $1,097,820.

The complaint alleged that a scale operator named Earnest Martin was accepting money and gifts from companies in exchange for altering the weight of the company trucks that entered the scale. In exchange, police say Martin, 62, of Atlanta, received approximately $65,000 in money and gifts from various companies. An arrest warrant for Martin has been secured by the Palmetto police.

Palmetto police also are seeking the arrest of individuals in several companies mentioned in connection with the operation, including Hal Knott Trucking, A Dumpster Inc. and Southern Dumpsters. Two people, William Knott and Robert Stevens, turned themselves in and arrest warrants for five additional people — including Martin — have been issued, with more expected.

Each individual is charged with felony counts of theft by deception, theft of services and theft by conversion.

The investigation is continuing.

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