California pair accused of fraud

According to reports, a pair of men were detained and are to be prosecuted by the California Department of Justice in relation to allegations that they participated in a beverage container recycling fraud scheme. The director of California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery noted that cans and bottles that are bought outside state lines are not eligible for California Refund Value credits; the two men stand accused of bringing bottles from Arizona to California to claim the refund.

News sources allege that special agents from the Department of Justice tracked a truck driven by one of the men on behalf of a recycling firm called Sequoia Resources. The truck driver apparently transported multiple loads of used containers to California, and authorities detained him following a traffic stop. Officials then obtained search warrants for Sequoia Resources properties and detained the owner of another company that had been receiving weekly $20,000 loans from Sequoia that were paid back with the beverage containers.

Reports say that the investigations were prompted as part of a drive to reduce fraud related to the beverage container refund program. The men are scheduled for hearings in late July. It is uncertain whether the owner of Sequoia Resources could also be targeted for his part in advancing the cash to pay for the out-of-state materials or whether he was even aware of the scheme.

Fraud charges can ruin a person's professional life. Those accused of white-collar crimes may experience serious difficulty maintaining their public image and holding onto enough of their assets to keep their firms afloat. This is especially true of individuals who are detained or forced to attend trials. Business owners who stand accused of fraud crimes may wish to investigate their cases thoroughly and research all of their legal options before mounting a defense.

Source: KERO Bakersfield, "Two arrested in Bakersfield recycling fraud case", July 07, 2014

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