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SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities have arrested 11 suspects they say ran a multi-state recycling fraud operation that smuggled empty cans and bottles into California in a scheme that cost the state’s recycling fund more than $2 million.
The suspects are accused of bringing cans and bottles from Arizona and Nevada into Los Angeles-area recycling centers to illegally redeem deposits. It’s illegal because consumers in Nevada and Arizona do not pay the 5- or 10-cent California redemption value deposit, so those containers are not eligible for refunds.
The article goes on to state the following:
The suspects were charged with felony recycling fraud, conspiracy and grand theft after a four-month investigation by the California Department of Justice and CalRecycle, state officials said Monday.
According to authorities, California’s Beverage Container Recycling Fund was defrauded of more than $2 million, the LA Times reported, noting the suspects face a potential prison sentence of six months to three years, along with fines and possible loss of driver’s license and vehicles.
The 11 people arrested in the scheme were identified as Yajaira Rojas, Isaiah Rojas, Raul Fernandez, Catalina Hernandez, Enrique Morado-Amador, Jaime Bojado Perez, Jose Orozco-Lopez, Selvin Rodriguez, Amnel Ruano, Arturo Reyes and Carlos Grimaldi.
During the four-month investigation, officials found massive amounts of recycling items being kept in storage facilities in Los Angeles, before being fraudulently redeemed at 15 local recycling centers.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra tweeted about the case, saying in his tweet that 10 individuals were arrested in a $700,000 scheme. However, the press release Becerra shared confirms that 11 people were arrested in the $2 million recycling fraud scheme.
We’re announcing the arrest of 10 individuals for allegedly defrauding $700,000 from @CalRecycle by importing containers sold in other states into CA to in order to redeem them for cash.
We won’t allow our publicly-funded programs to be defrauded. https://t.co/IqMikK20rP
— Xavier Becerra (@AGBecerra) January 27, 2020
— 23ABC News (@23ABCNews) January 27, 2020
11 arrested in recycling redemption scheme of smuggling cans, bottles into California https://t.co/9z0oUWBRBy
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 29, 2020
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