SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Five people were arrested and charged in an $80.3 million recycling fraud conspiracy based out of Sacramento County.
A grand jury indicted the owner of Recycling Services Alliance Corporation and four employees on a total of 166 counts, including grand theft, recycling fraud, perjury and conspiracy. The owner, Shengchien Tseng of Cupertino, and the employees, Maximina Perez of San Leandro, Alejandra Lazaro Martinez of Hayward, Veronica Castillo of Sacramento and Marlene Davalos-Mendez of Rocklin, are accused of “fraudulently processing out-of-state empty beverage containers for California Redemption Value refunds.” They’re also accused of “conspiring to manufacture fraudulent weight tickets to justify state payments and reimbursement claims.”
All of the suspects were arrested and booked into the Sacramento County Jail.
The investigation into RSA began in May 2015. The California Department of Justice’s Recycling Fraud Team got information the facility in Sacramento was illegally getting out-of-state material from recycling centers. The CA DOJ, CalRecycle, the CA Department of Food and Agriculture and the Sacramento County Agricultural Commission investigated RSA’s CRV reimbursement claims and weight tickets and found a number of falsified, inaccurate and altered weight tickets. Those higher weight tickets totaled $80,331,217.19 from January 2012 until December 2015.
RSA was suspended from the CalRecycle program in May 2016.
CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline commented on the arrests, saying: “Recycling fraud is a serious crime and CalRecycle will continue to work alongside our law enforcement partners to disrupt these schemes and protect public funds.”
The California Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case.