Authorities in California say that they’ve uncovered a large scale bottle and can recycling fraud scheme that could cost the truckers involved their livelihood.
On July 1, CalRecycle announced that nine suspects — Raymundo Montoya, Sergio Hernandez, Ignacio Razo, Marvin Ren Amira Chali, Tomas Dominguez, Irving Dominguez Flores, Michael Dominguez, Job Robles-Pelaez, and Zayda Garcia Mejia– had been arrested and charged with felony recycling fraud, conspiracy, and grand theft after authorities allegedly uncovered an organized recycling fraud ring taking place between Phoenix to Los Angeles.
Following several months of investigation into the alleged scheme, CalRecycle says that they discovered that the suspects brought truckloads of nonredeemable bottles and cans from Arizona to storage facilities and recycling centers in Southern California in order to fraudulently obtain money from California’s CRV fund.
“Drivers deliberately took a long, circuitous route in order to avoid inspection by the California Department of Food and Agriculture,” CalRecycle says.
Felony recycling fraud carries a potential sentence of 6 months to three years.
In addition to possible prison time and fines or restitution, the truck drivers involved in the scheme could also face suspension of their commercial driver’s licenses and impounding of their tractor-trailers.
“Recycling fraud is a serious crime with real consequences for the offenders,” said CalRecycle Acting Director Ken DaRosa. “CalRecycle tackles this problem through an effective collaboration with law enforcement partners who are committed to finding those who would attempt to defraud the state.”