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Failure to pay confiscation order leaves recycling fraudster facing further eight years in prison

A defendant convicted of defrauding the electrical waste recycling industry has been sentenced to prison for a further eight years after he failed to meet a £1.3m confiscation order.

Terry Soloman Dugbo, a 48-year-old man from Leeds, is serving a 7 years and 6 months custodial sentence after defrauding the industry of £2.2m in 2016. The case was brought following an Environment Agency investigation. 

In February 2019, Dugbo was ordered to pay back more than £1.3m of the £2.2m he acquired through illegal activity, on top of more than £79,000 from a previous Environment Agency prosecution for exporting hazardous waste to Nigeria in 2011 and over £17,000 from a VAT fraud in 2015.

The Environment Agency said that despite numerous court orders Dugbo had failed to make any payments towards the £1.3m order and insufficient payments towards the other two. So far, a total of approximately £46,000 has been made towards an earlier order.

Dugbo insists that he has no money to pay and has unsuccessfully attempted to have the orders reduced.

A Proceeds of Crime hearing was held at Leeds Crown Court last week (22 August).

HHJ Jameson QC ruled that there was no realistic prospect of Dugbo paying the outstanding amount, and sent him to prison for a further 8 years for failing to pay the £1.3m order, 14 months for the older Environment Agency order (reduced from 21 months for the money already paid) and 2 months for the order relating to the other fraud.

Each sentence will be served consecutively to each other. Dugbo will now have to serve the extra time after finishing his current sentence unless he pays the money owed.

Dr Paul Salter, Environment Agency 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 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 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 found guilty in 2016 after Environment Agency officers discovered falsified paperwork was used to illegitimately claim that his Leeds-based firm, TLC Recycling LTD, had collected and recycled over 19,500 tonnes of household electrical waste during 2011.

“In reality, Dugbo’s company had never handled the amount of waste described and was not entitled to receive money through the government backed, Producer Compliance Scheme,” the Environment Agency said.

“Documents seized as part of the investigation showed that Dugbo’s company claimed money for waste collections from streets and properties that did not exist. Vehicles used to transfer waste were recorded as being in Northern Ireland, England, and Scotland on the same day. Some vehicles did not exist at all, and some documents showed vast weights of waste being collected by vehicles that could not carry such loads: for example, a moped was said to have carried waste 42 times, and on one trip it was said to have carried 991 TVs and 413 fridges between Dugbo’s businesses. Weights of individual items said to have been collected were also exaggerated: fax machines were logged as weighing 47kg, and drills 80kg.”

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