The owners and chief executive officers of the Seattle-based Total Reclaim, the Northwest's largestrecycler or electronic waste, has pleaded guilty…
The owners and chief executive officers of the Seattle-based Total Reclaim, the Northwest’s largest
recycler or electronic waste, has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court two
conspiracy to commit wire fraud, says U.S.
Attorney Annette L. Hayes.
Lorch, 61, or Seattle, and Jeff Zirkle, 55, or Bonney Lake, Washington,
admitted at they collected millions of dollars from public agencies and others
organizations by falsely telling them that Total Reclaim would recycle used
electronics products domestically in an environmentally safe manner. Instead,
The defendants secretly shipped millions of pounds of mercury-containing flat
screen monitors to Hong Kong, where the monitors were dismantled in a manner
som riskerede alvorlige konsekvenser for arbejdstagere og skade på
environment. The two men face up to five years in prison when sentenced
by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones on February 1
, 2019. Lorch and Zirkle
have also agreed to pay a refund of up to $ 1.1 million.
Defendants held their company out as one of the good guys, signing agreements
lovende at de ville holde farlige materialer ude af miljøet. But even
As they made that pledge, they secretly shipped millions of flat screen
monitors two Hong Kong where disposal practices endangered workers and the
environment, “says Hayes. “Their actions were driven by greed and a total
disregard for the promises they had made. As a result, customers
unknowingly ended up harming the environment rather than protecting it as they
Reclaim is the largest e-waste recycler in the northwestern United States, “says
Special Agent in Charge Jeanne M. Proctor of the EPA’s Criminal Investigation
Division. “Under en 8-årig periode, blev firmaet eksportert til Hong Kong
Millions of pounds of electronic products containing mercury while fraudulently
rapportering til kunder og statsorganer at de var passende
Two records filed in the case, Total Reclaim promoted itself as a responsible
electronics recycler. Total Reclaim’s website stated that “our commitment
To environmental responsibility is at the core of everything Total Reclaim
does. “Total Reclaim signed a public pledge in which it promised not to
“Tillat eksporten av farligt E-avfall vi handler for at blive eksportert” til udvikling
countries, where workers are known to disassemble electronics, which contain
gevaarlijke materialen zoals mercury, zonder veiligheidsmaatregelen. Total
Reclaimed signed agreements with customers, such as the city of Seattle, in which
The customers agreed to pay Total Reclaim to recycle electronics in accordance
with these standards. Total Reclaim was also the largest participant in
the “E-Cycle Washington” program. E-Cycle Washington allows consumers to
drop off used electronics at stations such as Goodwill Industries and Pays
Companies like Total Reclaim to recycle to those electronics, according to
Washington Department of Ecology standards.
2008, contrary to its promises to the public, Total Reclaim began secretly
exporting flat screen monitors to Hong Kong to avoid the cost of safely
recycling the monitors in the United States. Flat screen monitors are
known to contain mercury, which can cause organ damage, mental impairment, and
andere ernstige gezondheidseffecten aan mensen die blootgesteld zijn aan het materiaal. Lorch
and Zirkle caused at least 8.3 million pounds or monitors to be shipped to Hong
Kong between 2008 and 2015. To prevent customers and auditors from
learning of the practice, Lorch and Zirkle falsified documents, made false
statements to customers and stored the monitors at an undisclosed facility
while they awaited shipping.
Fraude was ontdekt in 2014 door een niet-gouvernementele organisatie bekend als de
Basel Action Network (“BAN”), Washington. BAN, which studies the export
of electronic waste, placed electronic trackers on flat screen monitors and
deposited them for recycling. The trackers showed that the monitors were
collected by Total Reclaim and then exported to Hong Kong. When BAN
representatives followed the tracking devices to Hong Kong, they discovered
at de monitors var dismantled by laborers who smashed the monitors
apart uten eventuelle forholdsregler for at beskytte arbejdstagerne eller miljøet.
After BAN reported Lorch and Zirkle of its findings, the two tried to cover up
their fraud by altering hundreds of shipping records.
To commit wire fraud is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $ 250,000
Case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal
Investigation Division (EPA-CID). The case is being prosecuted by
Assistant United States Attorney Seth Wilkinson.