Colorado recycling company CEO sentenced for fraud

The owner and CEO of an Englewood-based recycling company, Executive Recycling, was sentenced today for his role in a fraudulent scheme related to the disposal and exportation of electronic waste to foreign countries.

A release Tuesday from the office of U.S. Attorney John Walsh said that Brandon Richter, owner and CEO of Executive Recycling, was sentenced to pay a $7,500 fine and $70,144 in restitution, and to serve 30 months in a federal prison, followed by three years on supervised release.

U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez also ordered $142,241 in asset forfeiture.

Richter’s company was sentenced to pay a $4.5 million fine and serve three years probation.

Richter and other defendants were convicted in December of multiple counts of mail and wire fraud and environmental crimes related to the illegal disposal of electronic waste, smuggling and obstruction of justive.

Former vice president of operations at Executive Recycling, Tor Olsen, was sentenced to serve 14 months in prison and pay a $5,000 fine and more than $15,000 in restitution. Olsen’s sentencing took place on July 17.

According to the indictment against the defendants, Executive Recycling was an electronic waste company located in Englewood with locations in Utah and Nebraska.

The company collected electronic waste from private households, businesses and government entities.

A “significant portion” of the electronic waste collected was cathode ray tubes, according to the release. These tubes were sent to China, among other countries. Foreign buyers often paid the defendants directly, and the defendants used shipping cargo containers which were loaded at the company’s facility.

Executive Recycling appeared as the exporter of record in over 300 exports from the U.S. between 2005 and 2008. About 160 of these exported containers contained a total of more than 100,000 cathode ray tubes.

Between February 2005 and January 2009, the defendants knowingly devised a scheme to defraud various businesses and government entities, according to the release.

The defendants represented themselves on a website as having “extensive knowledge of current EPA requirements,” the release said, part of a scheme in which the defendants said that they would dispose of all electronic waste in an environmentally friendly manner.

Specifically, the release said, the defendants said that they would dispose of the waste in the U.S., not shipping any waste overseas.

Instead, the defendants sold the waste to China and other countries, according to the release.

“The defendants in this case not only caused actual harm to the environment by shipping electronic waste overseas for dumping, they defrauded their customers by falsely claiming to be disposing of waste in an environmentally safe way,´ said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigrationg and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Special Protections Unit.

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