Who knew there was so much money in...used cardboard? New Jersey authorities say they've busted a ring of crooks who ran fake companies to pick up and sell cardboard from Sam's Club and Walmart stores in New Jersey. According to police the stolen bales of cardboard were then redeemed for more than $100,000.

"This group invested a considerable amount of time to create an enterprise with the sole purpose to steal cardboard," Col. Rick Fuentes, the State Police superintendent, said in a statement. "There are serious money and organizational skills involved here that could have been used for lawful purposes."

According to the police, Neal Devito, 34, of Old Bridge and John Nichols, 38, of Staten Island ran a fake company called Straight Line Transportation to pick up the cardboard which was then brought to another phony firm, Metro Paper, which moved the board along. Instead of going to the recycling contractors they were supposed to go to, the group allegedly sold the paper (allegedly more than 900 tons) to different facilities in New York and New Jersey and pocketed the profit.

Another man, Vincenzo Grasso, 46, of Staten Island has also been implicated in the scheme and will likely also be charged on Staten Island with violating his parole—he's been previously barred from working in the waste industry.

Police suspect that the men may have actually gotten even more money out of Garden State businesses who have yet to come forward because they thought the operation was legit. After all, it is a tough economy out there right now and and people seem happy to sell whatever they can (see: stolen manholes). And hey, a ton of cardboard can be sold for between $100 and $125.