A man jailed for committing waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) evidence fraud has been ordered to repay £1.3 million from the proceeds of his crime.
Terence Soloman Dugbo, 48, is currently serving a seven-year and six-month prison sentence, handed down in July 2016 (see letsrecycle.com story).
He was found guilty of having falsified paperwork to illegitimately claim that his Leeds-based firm TLC Recycling Ltd had collected and recycled more than 19,500 tonnes of household WEEE during 2011.
This led to a reported income of more than £2.2 million to his business in payments from WEEE producer compliance schemes.
Mr Dugbo returned to Leeds Crown Court yesterday (7 February) where he was told he must pay back some £1.3 million which had been acquired through his illegal activity.
He was given three months to pay and faces a further eight years in prison on top of the sentence he is serving if he fails to do so.
Proceeds of crime
The confiscation was brought by the Environment Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) following a financial investigation into the profit Dugbo made from his crimes.
Commenting on the ruling, Environment Agency’s Dr Paul Salter, said: “Dugbo was unable to provide any credible evidence to show what happened to the proceeds of his fraud. He has a history of dishonesty in court proceedings and non-disclosure of assets and bank accounts at home and abroad. Our financial investigation into his realisable assets suggest he had benefitted from his crimes to the tune of £1,373,060.09.
“He has now been ordered to repay more than £1.3 million, which is a significant confiscation order on top of the custodial sentence already handed out. It sends out a clear message to others who flout the law that waste crime does not pay.
“Not only do we use environmental law to prosecute those who abuse the environment but we also use the Proceeds of Crime legislation to ensure that criminals are deprived of the benefits of their illegal activity.
“Waste crime undermines legitimate businesses and can have significant detrimental impacts on communities and the environment.
“This hearing demonstrates how seriously we take waste crime and we’ll continue to take action against those operating outside of the law and the regulations.”