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Thirty-one people arrested in recycling fraud rings

RIVERSIDE - Thirty-one people have been arrested for allegedly operating recycling fraud rings, including two in Riverside and San Diego counties, that imported millions of recyclable beverage containers into the state to claim California Redemption Value refunds, the Attorney General's Office announced today.

The fraud rings bilked the state out of more than $3.5 million, according to the Attorney General's Office.

''These bands of thieves have been caught red-handed running tons of cans and bottles from across the state's border and fraudulently collecting money through the California Redemption Value program,'' Attorney General Jerry Brown said. ''Defrauding the state's recycling program is not a way to make easy money. We are looking for you and you will be caught.''

State officials said three recycling fraud rings were detected. In one case, suspects trucked 1.6 million pounds of cans and bottles into the state from Nevada. In another, cans were hauled from the Phoenix area to Moreno Valley -- and the cans were filled with sand to increase their weight and boost their redemption value.

Another ring based in San Diego allegedly transported 40,000 pounds of cans into the state, with an approximate value of $135,000.


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