Solihull brothers sentenced for £1.46m WEEE fraud
Two brothers from Solihull have received custodial sentences at Birmingham Crown Court for submitting fictitious claims for £1.46 million of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
56-year-old Jamil Rehman, of Monkspeith, Solihull, and director at Electronic Waste Specialists Ltd (EWS), submitted claims for the recycling of approximately 10,600 tonnes of WEEE between January 2011 and December 2012, using forged paperwork to receive £1.46 million in payment from producer compliance scheme Weeelight Ltd.
EWS’s services had been contracted by Weeelight Ltd as an approved authorised treatment facility under the WEEE Regulations 2013, although suspicions arose when the Environment Agency (EA) investigated the paperwork that EWS had submitted from a warehouse in Birmingham.
The EA officer in charge of the investigation said: “The EA has a specialist crime unit using intelligence to track and prosecute organised crime groups involved in illegal waste activity.
“This case sends out a clear message that we will not hesitate to take action against anyone operating illegally.”
Jamil Rehman pleaded guilty in a hearing last January, while his brother Saleem Rehman also pleaded guilty to the charge of theft from the company.
Jamil Rehman returned to Birmingham Crown Court for a hearing on 19 December, where he was sentenced to five years and four months in custody and disqualified from acting as a company director for 10 years. His brother received a 16-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, for stealing approximately £36,000 from the company account.
The company went into voluntary liquidation in 2014 with debts of over £116,000.
During the proceedings, the EA undertook a surveillance operation after Jamil Rehman asserted that he was not fit to plead, finding video evidence showing him driving and further evidence showing that he had hired HGV vehicles in 2018 and 2019.
Although Jamil Rehman then applied to vacate his plea, there was inadequate defence medical evidence to support his application.