It is a scrap yard that prosecutors believe dealt in stolen cars and defrauding regional recyclers. But sitting in the parking lot is the first clue that there is a tie to another operation with the same principles we exposed seven years ago: a pink truck.
That procedure was not allowed. It had no ties to any Cleveland charity, rather one in Brooklyn, NY. Even its tow trucks had New York City towing permits and license plates.
The cars ended up at a Canton, OH regional metal recycler, where cars are pulverized and Charity Towing got more than $50 a car. The nonprofit was making a profit. At the time, other charities complained they were losing donations and could provide fewer services because of Charity Towing.
On repeated visits in 2007 we got few answers, but with Agnello's arrest there's now more. The woman listed as Charity Towing's agent in 2008 on the Secretary of State's website is still listed today. Her name is Danielle Vangar and she is "The Bull's" wife.
How everything ties together is still under investigation, but prosecutors are very pleased with what's happened so far.
"I admire their determination to make sure the Mafia does not take root in Cleveland again. It's been driven out in the past by CPD with FBI help and we do not want them to come back," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty.
The tow truck in the scrap yard is pink for a reason: The business cards from Charity Towing say money raised goes to the Susan G Komen fund. We have no confirmation one way or the other if it does.