Subjects Sentenced in Electronics Recycling Fraud Case

Fraudulent electronic scrap exporter was exposed in 2008 TV news program.

July 26, 2013
Recycling Today Staff
Electronics Legislation & Regulations

Brandon Richter, owner and CEO of Executive Recycling, Englewood, Colo., has been sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William Martinez for his role in a fraudulent scheme related to the unsafe disposal and exporting of electronic scrap to foreign countries.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Richter was ordered to serve 30 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Martinez also ordered Richter to pay a $7,500 fine and $70,144 in restitution and $142,240 in asset forfeiture. Additionally, the corporation was sentenced to pay a $4.5 million fine and serve three years on probation.

The case involving Executive Recycling was spotlighted in a November 2008 segment on the CBS TV program 60 Minutes, which looked at the practice of unsafe electronics dismantling in Guiyu, China, and alleged misrepresentation by some U.S. electronics recyclers who shipped material there.

The DOJ adds that Tor Olson, former vice president of operations for Executive Recycling, was sentenced to serve 14 months in prison, pay a $5,000 fine and pay more than $15,000 in restitution. He remains free on bond pending appeal.

The defendants were convicted in December 2012 of multiple counts of mail and wire fraud and environmental crimes related to the illegal disposal of electronic scrap, smuggling and obstruction of justice.

The DOJ says between February 2005 and January 2009, the defendants knowingly devised and intended to devise a scheme to defraud various business and government entities who wanted to dispose of their electronic scrap responsibly.

The defendants represented themselves on a website to have “extensive knowledge of current EPA requirements,” the DOJ says, adding that the defendants falsely advertised to customers that they would dispose of electronic scrap in compliance with all local, state and federal laws and regulations.