LANCASTER – A local business owners was arrested recently in connection with a scheme to defraud the State of California out of thousands of dollars by either “double billing” the State “Cal recycle” program or by billing the program for “untaxed” containers.
William Herrera, 39, owner operator of AA Express Recycling, located at 45349 Division Street in Lancaster, was arrested on September 21.
The arrest came after a Lancaster Station detective caught Herrera sneaking a large U-Haul truck into his recycle yard around 8 p.m. The truck was loaded with 14,000 pounds of glass beverage containers.
The bottles inside Herrera’s truck were a mixture of “untaxed” containers that had been brought in from other states and “previously redeemed” containers that had been stolen from a recycling facility in the Los Angeles area.
The estimated value of the containers inside the truck was $3,000.
Two of Herrera’s employees, 45-year-old Jaime Castillo and 37-year-old Jose Garcia, both of Los Angeles, were also arrested in connection with the scheme. All three suspects are facing fraud and theft related charges.
Herrera is currently out on bond, with a pending court date.
“Businesses that commit these types of crimes bring disgrace to the hardworking honest recycle businesses in the area,” Detective Williams said in a news release.
State Officials say this type of fraud costs the State of California millions of dollars each year.
(Information via press release from the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.)