SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — Recycling Services Alliance, Inc. (RSA) and its operations manager will pay over $34 million for illegally filing claims for California Refund Value (CRV) based on thousands of fabricated weight tickets over multiple years, according a statement from California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle).
The criminal judgment, as part of plea agreements, for RSA is $33 million to CalRecycle, plus a $1 million criminal fine. Sacramento Superior Court also approved plea agreements that resulted in felony convictions for recycling fraud, forging/falsifying public documents and perjury.
“California’s Beverage Container Recycling program reduces litter and trash pollution, recycling 426 billion bottles and cans since the 1980s,” CalRecycle Director Rachel Machi Wagoner said in a statement. “CalRecycle’s collaboration with the California Department of Justice (CDOJ) and other state and local partners protects funds that belong to consumers who recycle.”
Under the plea agreement, RSA and its operations manager admitted to fraudulently submitting claims for CRV refunds between January 2012 and September 2016.
“As a participant in the state’s Beverage Container Recycling Program, Recycling Service Alliance Corp. should have helped increase California’s environmental stewardship through conservation and waste reduction,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta in a statement. “Instead, the company employed a massive fraud scheme. Those who choose to take advantage of state programs in order to pad their pockets will be held accountable.”
Californians should report suspected recycling fraud or bottle redemption violations to CalRecycle’s toll free number 1-800-RECYCLE or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.