California Family Accused of Scamming $7.6 Million in Recycling Fraud
On July 19, 2023, the California state government charged eight members of a family from Riverside, California, with recycling fraud. Allegedly, the family has made an incredible $7.6 million from importing 178 tons of beverage containers from Arizona to California, where they sold them back to the government illegally.
But why is what they did illegal, and what exactly are they being charged with?
Why Is It Illegal to Recycle Beverage Containers From Arizona in California?
In California, consumers pay a “California Redemption Value,” or CRV, of between 5-10 cents on all recyclable beverage containers. When the containers are returned, the consumer receives their deposit back. But Arizona does not require residents to pay a deposit, and therefore, does not pay out for recycling.
So by collecting beverage containers in Arizona and returning them in California, this family essentially defrauded the California state government.
What Exactly Is This Riverside, California Family Being Charged With?
According to reports, the California family has not only made $7.6 million through recycling fraud, but authorities found another $1 million worth of illegal beverage containers in their possession.
All eight family members are being charged with defrauding the state, recycling fraud, grand theft, and conspiracy for taking 178 tons of recycling from Arizona and selling it to the California state government.
California’s Attorney General Weighs In
California Attorney General Rob Bonta is taking these crimes seriously and prosecuting the family to the full extent. He is known for his dedication to fighting injustice and believes that is exactly what happened here.
Bonta recently told the press that “California’s recycling program is funded by consumers, and helps protect our environment and our communities. Those who try to undermine its integrity through criminal operations will be held accountable.”
What Will Become of This California Family?
What will happen when this case goes to court is still unknown. Though it seems probably the Riverside family of eight is highly unlikely to get out of this situation unscathed.
Because they stole an almost unbelievable $7.6 million from the California state government, Bonta and CalRecycle will continue to “[work] together to protect funds that belong to California consumers who recycle.”