SACRAMENTO – On April 26, 2018 the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) announced it will receive $19,980 in restitution from two men who pleaded no-contest to theft charges involving a multi-year recycling fraud scheme that stretched from Washington State to Sacramento. According to the California Attorney General’s Office, which prosecutes cases on behalf of CalRecycle, the settlement included jail time, probation, and restitution payments.
The California Department of Justice (DOJ) 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 special 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, special agents identified Placido Martinez-Lopez, 55, of Grandview, Washington, as the source of Acevedo’s used beverage container supply. Special 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. Special agents executed a search warrant at Acevedo’s residence in Sacramento on January 18th. 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.
“Recycling containers from other states in which consumers didn’t pay into the CRV fund is stealing from all of us,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “I applaud the investigative agencies who watch for this at our borders and at recycling centers.”