Sweeps occurred in San Bernardino and Imperial Counties
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline today announced the arrest of eight individuals accused of attempting to defraud the State’s Beverage Container Recycling Program by smuggling out-of-state empty beverage containers for illegal California Redemption Value (CRV) redemption.
California’s beverage container recycling program, administered by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), encourages recycling through a 5- to 10-cent deposit on CRV-eligible beverage containers. Consumers can redeem their containers at privately-owned recycling centers certified by CalRecycle. Recycling centers are responsible for ensuring that only eligible bottles and cans that are sold in California, where the CRV deposit was paid, are redeemed.
“The Beverage Container Recycling Program exemplifies California values: using innovative public programs to better our environment and our communities,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Individuals who undermine these efforts by criminally taking advantage of public programs for personal gain will be held accountable. We will continue working with our partners throughout the state to ensure the integrity of our public programs.”
“CalRecycle works alongside its law enforcement partners in an effort to protect the nickels and dimes Californians pay at the cash register when purchasing CRV–labeled beverages,” said CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline. “Those attempting to cash in on out-of-state containers and steal CRV funds from California consumers should know we have agents and staff working diligently to disrupt these schemes and protect public funds.”
Working in partnership with the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and other state and local partners, the California Department of Justice’s Recycling Fraud Team agents recovered more than 56,000 pounds of material worth an estimated $82,853 in potential redemptions.
The suspects were arrested as the result of three separate busts:
It is important to note that a criminal indictment contains charges that are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.