Business

Nine years added to WEEE criminal’s sentence

Terence Solomon Dugbo, a convicted waste criminal, has had an additional nine years and four months added to his seven-and-a-half-year fraud sentence, after failing to make payments towards his court orders.

An image of a TLC Recycling Ltd van

The 48-year-old man from Leeds is currently serving seven years and six months in prison – a record sentence for an environmental crime – after defrauding the electrical waste recycling industry of £2.2 million in 2016.

In February 2019, Leeds Crown Court ordered Dugbo to pay back more than £1.3 million of the £2.2 million, as well as over £79,000 from a previous Environment Agency (EA) prosecution for exporting hazardous waste to Nigeria in 2011 and over £17,000 from a VAT fraud in 2015.

After Dugbo failed to make any payments towards the £1.3 million order and insufficient payments towards the other two, HHJ Jameson QC ruled last week (22 August) that there was no realistic prospect of Dugbo paying the outstanding amount. An additional nine years and four months was therefore added to his sentence, meaning that Dugbo will now serve a total of 16 years.

Dr Paul Salter, EA waste crime officer, said: “Dugbo’s defiance has led to an extended jail sentence which he will be forced to serve until all the money is paid. This is a clear signal that waste crime does not pay.

“We take a hard line against anyone that intentionally sets out to profit from defrauding recycling systems.

“In recent times, we have increased resources in our waste enforcement team and are working with our partners to establish a Joint Waste Crime Unit to forge stronger links between government, police forces and local councils to tackle waste crime.”

Dugbo was originally convicted in July 2016 after EA officers discovered that he had falsified paperwork to receive money through government-backed Producer Compliance Schemes, fraudulently claiming that his company had collected and recycled more than 19,500 tonnes of electrical waste.

The fraudulent paperwork revealed that Dugbo’s company, TLC Recycling Ltd, had claimed money for waste collections from streets and properties that did not exist, with some waste collection vehicles reported as collecting from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland on the same date. 

Some of the vehicles reported in the paperwork did not exist at all, and some vehicles were reported to have carried heavier weights than would be possible – according to one document, a moped allegedly carried 991 televisions and 413 fridges between Dugbo’s businesses on one trip.

Dugbo has denied all charges in this latest case, but was found guilty on all counts.

To report waste crime contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
 

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