Crime - Sacto 911

Five recycling workers face fraud charges. Here's how they allegedly cheated the system

Where does your recycling go?

From bins to Budweisers and back: Follow a can on a recycling journey from a Wichita curbside to Hutchinson County, where its contents are sorted, packaged, and sold for reuse.
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From bins to Budweisers and back: Follow a can on a recycling journey from a Wichita curbside to Hutchinson County, where its contents are sorted, packaged, and sold for reuse.

Five people at a Sacramento recycling center allegedly took out-of-state material and created fraudulent weight tickets to defraud the state of $80.3 million, according to a grand jury indictment announced Thursday by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

The indictment contains criminal charges against Recycling Services Alliance (RSA) Corporation owner Shengchien Tseng, 49, and employees Maximina Perez, 50; Alejandra Lazaro-Martinez, 26; Veronica Castillo, 35; and Marlene Davalos-Mendez, 28.

All have been arrested and face 166 counts of grand theft, recycling fraud, perjury and conspiracy.

Recycling Services Alliance is a CalRecycle-certified redemption center at 6935 Power Inn Road.

"In California, those who criminally misuse public programs for personal gain will be held accountable," Becerra said in a release.

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) administers the state's recycling program and pays 5- to 10-cent deposits to redemption centers that collect eligible beverage containers. The investigation began in May 2015 after the Justice Department recycling fraud team got a tip that the company was receiving out-of-state material.

"CalRecycle concluded that RSA’s CRV claims submitted from January 2012 to December 2015, which totaled $80,331,217.19, were based on fraudulent weight tickets," CalRecycle officials said in a separate release.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 5 in Sacramento County.

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