Oil is a piping hot commodity, and one College Park man may go to jail for a scheme to steal it.
No, not crude oil. Waste vegetable oil.
The Baltimore News Journal reported Ahmad Quaabid Abdul Rahim, 37, pleaded guilty Monday to transportation of stolen property in connection with the oil-waste scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.
According to the plea agreement, some local restaurants contract with waste collection businesses to sell the oil they used to cook French fries, shrimp, Twinkies - whatever they can make more delicious by deep-frying it.
The oil is used to make bio-diesel fuel or turned into an additive for animal feeds. The collection business puts a container in the back of a restaurant and the restaurant fills it with used oil. Once full, the company collects the oil using a vacuum.
Rahim admitted in the plea agreement that in 2010, he and a friend stole oil from restaurants in Maryland and Virginia.
At the end October 2010, Rahim went semi-legitimate, developing a waste collection company named “Waste Not, Incorporated.” According to the plea agreement, he secured 650 contracts.
In October 2011 Rahim and a hired driver began stealing oil from restaurants with whom they did not have a contract, according to the plea agreement. Rahim added those restaurants to the driver’s manifest to try to hide the fact that they were stealing.
They took all of their oil to a collection facility in Middle River run by a friend of Rahim’s, according to the plea agreement. That company sold the oil.
According to the plea agreement, Waste Not received about $99,000 for selling about 94,000 gallons of stolen oil. Rahim is scheduled to be sentenced in December; he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.