CalRecycle details three fraud busts

CalRecycle details three fraud busts

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

April 9, 2014

Six people have been arrested and a recycling company has agreed to close following three separate recycling fraud investigations in the state of California.

CalRecycle, the governmental organization overseeing California's container deposit program, says nearly $750,000 had been swindled from the state as a result of redemption of out-of-state containers by the three operations.

In the most recently announced case, an investigation by CalRecycle led to the closure of Bullseye Recycling, a Susanville recycling center working to trade in out-of-state bottles for California deposits.

Loads of aluminum and plastic containers were apparently driven into California and redeemed while excessive in-state loads were divvied up to dodge daily load limits. The illicit activities were tracked by CalRecycle, and a review of business records and receipts revealed inadequate documentation and possible falsification of documents.

The recycling center agreed to pay $235,000 in restitution and close by May 31.

Two additional cases were announced through a separate CalRecycle press release.

Collection site operator Mario Morales Nolasco of Oakland was arrested alongside three "co-conspirators" for trading in hoards of out-of-state aluminum beverage containers in California, the release states.

The operation was estimated to have netted the group nearly $330,000 and relied on an intricate smuggling operation from Washington state. The cans were allegedly traded in at California redemption centers.

All four suspects have pleaded no contest and will serve anywhere from 76 to 178 days in jail, with restitution ranging from $4,000 to Nolasco's $146,000.

The final bust announced by CalRecycle was apparently a two-person operation, with Yakima, Washington resident Bulmaro Elias Martinez and Ray Montalvo Campos allegedly working in unison to trade in Washington containers in California. The state charges Martinez would "regularly buy empty beverage containers from the public in Washington … [and] transported the material to California," where Campos would actively assist in their redemption.

The duo made upwards of $95,000. Campos has pleaded no contest to charges, which include 120 days in jail and $11,000 in restitution, while "the Martinez extradition is still being processed," the release reads.

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