State and federal authorities Wednesday announced the arrest of a Sun Valley-area recycling center owner Amado Nieva for allegedly defrauding the state of more than $500,000 by importing drink containers from Nevada for their California redemption value.
Amado Nieva's arrest, part of a statewide effort to stop drink container recycling fraud, followed a monthlong Justice Department investigation in which Nieva allegedly received empty beverage containers from Nevada and illegally claimed California refunds for them.
"California leads the nation in its recycling efforts and the state's bottle bill is the most successful and cost-effective beverage container recycling program in North America, but some unscrupulous bad actors try to scam the system," CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen said.
"This administration takes fraud issues very seriously and those who think they can take advantage of our laws should know we are taking aggressive actions to stay ahead of them, catch them, and prosecute them," Mortensen added.
Nieva, who owns Save Us Recycling, received a 53-foot tractor-trailer full of drink containers from Las Vegas at a San Fernando Valley storage yard, then redeemed them via two processing centers, according to state officials with CalRecycle.
Nieva, arrested July 24, allegedly admitted he had received a truckload of out-of-state plastic and aluminum beverage containers up to six times per month for more than a year, resulting in more than $500,000 in illegal recycling claims, according to investigators.
--City News Service