WEEE fraudster ordered to pay back £1.3 million
A convicted waste criminal from Leeds has been ordered to pay £1,373,060 for defrauding government-backed schemes worth millions, following a proceeds of crime hearing at Leeds Crown Court.
Terry Soloman Dugbo, who is currently serving seven years and six months in prison, was ordered to repay the money he made from his fraudulence or face an extra eight years in prison.
In 2016, Dugbo was found guilty of falsifying paperwork for his waste operations in Leeds in order to claim money through government-backed producer compliance schemes for collecting and recycling nearly 20,000 tonnes of household electrical waste in 2011. His company never handled the amounts of waste described and he was not entitled to the funds he claimed.
After an in-depth investigation by the Environment Agency and HMRC it was discovered that he had gained around £1,373,060.09 from his crimes, the money deposited in bank accounts in Nigeria, Senegal and Spain.
He has also contested the proceeds of crime actions since his conviction. He tried to reduce the previous benefit of over £96,000 for convictions of VAT fraud in 2014 and exporting hazardous waste to Nigeria in 2011. During current proceedings, it was heard that Mr Dugbo had misled courts by claiming his assets had already been used to satisfy the earlier court orders, which they had not.
The crimes allowed Mr Dugbo to live a lavish lifestyle. Dugbo claimed that he gambled away much of the assets he acquired during the fraud, which the court rejected as not true.
The Environment Agency’s waste team leader, Dr Paul Salter said: “Waste crime undermines legitimate business 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.”
Image credit | iStock