Recycling Fraud Suspects Ordered to Pay Nearly $20,000

Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release: April 26, 2018
News Release #2018-11
Media Contact: Lance Klug

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery will receive $19,980 in restitution from the subjects of a multi-year recycling fraud investigation that stretched from Washington State to Sacramento. The California Attorney General’s Office, which prosecutes cases on behalf of CalRecycle, announced details of the settlement, which included jail time, probation, and restitution payments for those involved.

“Consumers in other states don’t pay CRV when they purchase beverages, so claiming CRV reimbursements on those containers is stealing from the Californians who pay that nickel or dime at the cash register,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “Recycling fraud is a serious crime that comes with serious consequences.”

The California Department of Justice’s Recycle Fraud Team launched an investigation in October 2016 after Candido Acevedo, 59, of Sacramento suspiciously redeemed several hundred pounds of aluminum empty beverage containers for California Redemption Value (CRV) at a Sacramento recycling center. During the criminal investigation, California DOJ agents discovered that in 2016 Acevedo regularly redeemed hundreds of pounds of out of state aluminum empty beverage containers at that same location.

During the investigation, RFT agents identified Placido Martinez-Lopez, 55, of Grandview, Washington, as the source of Acevedo’s used beverage container supply. Agents believe the individuals were responsible for the importation of more than 4,000 pounds of aluminum beverage containers for the purpose of defrauding the California Beverage Container Recycling Program’s CRV fund. On January 9, 2018, Martinez-Lopez was arrested at his residence in Washington State. Agents executed a search warrant at Acevedo’s residence in Sacramento on January 18. Acevedo was not there at the time, but was later arrested.

In exchange for pleading no-contest to theft charges, Acevedo and Martinez-Lopez were given credit for time served and sentenced to three years of probation. Each man was also ordered to pay $9,990 in restitution to CalRecycle, totaling $19,980.

Fast Facts: CalRecycle’s Beverage Container Recycling Program Fraud Prevention Measures

California’s Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act incentivizes recycling through a California Redemption Value (CRV) fee paid by California consumers at the time of purchase and refunded upon return of the empty beverage containers to CalRecycle-certified recycling centers. Because the fee is not paid on beverages purchased outside the state, those containers are not eligible for CRV redemption.

In addition to CalRecycle’s interagency agreements with CDOJ and CDFA, CalRecycle aggressively combats fraud and illicit payments through enhanced precertification training of recycling center owners; probationary reviews of recycling centers; oversight of certified processors; monitoring and tracking of imported materials; risk assessment of daily claims for reimbursement; daily load limits; application of prepayment controls; and post-payment reviews and investigations.

In exchange for pleading no-contest to theft charges, Acevedo and Martinez-Lopez were given credit for time served and sentenced to three years of probation. Each man was also ordered to pay $9,990 in restitution to CalRecycle, totaling $19,980.

For more information contact, the Office of Public Affairs, opa@calrecycle.ca.gov


CalRecycle logo
Home Page | News Releases | Public Meetings | Broadcasts | Videos | Publications | Climate Investments | Organics | Bottles and Cans
CalRecycle provides oversight of California solid waste handling and recycling programs to protect human health, develop sustainable solutions that conserve resources, and reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.