California recycling firm to pay $34M in bottle and can scam

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California recycling company will pay $34 million for a long-running fraud scheme in which the firm illegally submitted bogus weight tickets and processed out-of-state bottles and cans to get inflated refunds for used beverage containers, authorities said Monday.

Recycling Services Alliance, Inc. and its operations manager, Maximina Perez, pleaded guilty earlier this month to recycling fraud, according to a joint statement from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery and the state Attorney General’s Office.

The company will pay $33 million in restitution and a $1 million fine. Perez was sentenced to seven years in prison, which will be suspended if she successfully completes five years of probation, the statement said. Restitution for Perez will be decided at a future hearing.

Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, Recycling Services Alliance and Perez admitted to submitting fraudulent claims for refunds between January 2012 and September 2016.

During that time, the company fabricated tens of thousands of weight tickets, shipping reports and invoices and other documents used to justify state payments and reimbursement claims, officials said.

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