Shades of Kramer? Six charged with defrauding California recycling fund

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: October 1, 2013 3:46 pm ET
Updated: October 1, 2013 3:50 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Sustainability, Legal

It’s a story straight out of “Seinfeld,” but officials in California are not laughing.

Six people have been accused of defrauding the state’s beverage container law by taking loads of plastic bottles and aluminum cans from Nevada and returning them for a cash refund in California. In total, officials said the group defrauded California’s Beverage Container Recycling Fund by $305,280.

Gerardo Gomez-Vasquez and Magdalena Hernandez-Sebastian, a married couple, are accused of purchasing the plastic and aluminum from Nevada recycling centers, sorting through them in a storage unit and trucking them to California for the deposit.

Officials said they used a 26-foot box truck to take the bottles and cans to California.

“Defrauding the recycling fund is stealing from the state of California and its citizens, and we are taking aggressive steps to thwart those who would attempt it,” said CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen in a statement. “We take fraud very seriously and work side by side with the [Justice Department] and other state and local agencies to catch these criminals and punish them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Argelio Hernandez-Torres, Ludin Rosales-Valladares, Elfego Gonzalez-Ramos and Luis Aguirre-Alarcon delivered the truckloads of bottles and cans to California, officials said. They were taken to recycling centers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley areas of California.

Officials said they watched the trucks be loaded with plastic and aluminum and followed it to Sacramento. The truck had 3,000 pounds of aluminum and 1,000 pounds of plastic bottles in it, officials said.

Hernandez-Torres remains at large, but the other five were arrested and charged with conspiracy, grand theft and recycling fraud, CalRecycle said. All face felony charges.

A total of five tons of recyclables were seized in Nevada following the arrests.

California refunds consumers 5 cents for containers smaller than 24 ounces and 10 cents for containers that are larger than 24 ounces.

California officials believe out-of-state returns make up $30 million to $50 million worth of payments out of the approximately $900 million it pays out annually.


Comments

Shades of Kramer? Six charged with defrauding California recycling fund

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: October 1, 2013 3:46 pm ET
Updated: October 1, 2013 3:50 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Judge limits scope of jury verdict against JM Eagle

December 19, 2014 2:30 pm ET

A federal judge in Los Angeles said Dec. 18 that last year's jury verdict issued against J-M Manufacturing Co. — now JM Eagle — for...    More

Image

Soy-based foam improves window performance, sustainability

December 18, 2014 12:51 pm ET

Launched in April 2013, Madison, Wis.-based WFI Global LLC is making a name in the fenestration market with what it says is a distinct product...    More

Image

Europe puts its 'Circular Economy' recycling effort on hold, for now

December 18, 2014 12:28 pm ET

The European Commission has withdrawn its Circular Economy initiative from its 2015 work program, and will instead replace it with “a new, more ...    More

Image

New extruders, repelletizer to improve production for InterGroup

December 17, 2014 6:00 am ET

InterGroup International Ltd. will install new, larger extruders and repelletizers at all three of its plastic scrap recycling locations in 2015.    More

Image

Investments allow UK's Jayplas to keep recycling supply chain at home

December 17, 2014 9:32 am ET

Corby, England-based plastics recycler Jayplas has announced the completion of a new extrusion and printing plant, together with a new packaging divis...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events