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Beryllium Copper Foundry Sues Scrap Processors

March 24, 2009
Semco alleges yards knowingly bought stolen alloy
Semco Inc., a Marion, OH, producer of beryllium copper plunger tips, is suing three scrap processors, contending they knowingly received goods stolen from the company’s foundry operation. Beryllium copper is a high-value alloy used to produce tooling and other performance components for metalworking, such as diecasting machinery. Semco — which claims to be the world’s largest producer of beryllium copper plunger tips — casts and precision machines the plunger tips, as well as shot sleeves, plunger rods, and couplings. The civil suit seeks at least $711,000 in damages from Sims Bros. Inc., General Recycling of Ohio L.L.C., and Heartland Metal Exchange, alleging that the firms "knew or had reason to know" they were buying beryllium copper stolen from the foundry. Two former Semco employees have pled guilty to theft charges, after having been apprehended July 7, 2008. Both are now in prison. Semco claims the scrap yards misrepresented the value of the beryllium copper and paid Dollick and Seabold an "extremely small percentage of the actual value of the materials." The plaintiff is seeking three times the value that the scrap yards admit to having paid for the metal.