SAN FRANCISCO — Officials say one of California's largest metal recyclers will pay $4.1 million to settle a lawsuit it failed to obey the state's anti-metal theft laws.

Prosecutors in San Francisco and Contra Costa counties announced the settlement with Sims Group USA Corp. Friday.

The lawsuit alleged that Sims, which owns and operates eight metal recycling facilities in Northern California, violated the laws designed to prevent escalating metal theft during an investigation.

The violations included Sims employees buying clearly stolen metal from undercover officers. Prosecutors said that for many years Sims bought scrap metal without requiring identification or other information from the sellers.

Officials at Sims could not immediately be reached for comment.

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