Six face felony charges over $10-million recycling fraud scheme against California program


Six people have been arrested and face felony charges in connection with a $10-million recycling fraud scheme, California officials said.

State Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said the defendants are suspected of bringing more than nine tons of material from Arizona to Southern California recycling centers to “unlawfully redeem” them in the state, which accepts only recyclable containers from California under its program.

California tries to encourage recycling by offering 5- or 10-cent returns on eligible containers, which is subsidized by a state fund supported by California consumers. Arizona does not have such a program. Bonta said the alleged scheme was estimated to have defrauded California of more than $10 million.


“Beverage deposits belong to Californians and the state will continue to actively protect these funds,” CalRecycle director Rachel Machi Wagoner said in a statement released by Bonta.

The criminal charges filed earlier this month against the six defendants include conspiracy to commit grand theft and recycling fraud.