The owners of Total Reclaim Inc., a large Northwest electronics recycler, are facing federal conspiracy fraud charges after they were found to have lied to customers about their recycling process of mercury-containing flat screen monitors. Documents filed in a Seattle court show that the company made $1.2 million off of customers who paid the business to recycle the monitors. Instead, Total Reclaim Inc. was reselling and shipping the monitors to China where they knew that the monitors would be disassembled by Chinese workers without any safety or environmental protections. In 2016, Total Reclaim was fined by Washington's Ecology Department a total of $444,000 for improperly storing thousands of flat screens.
Fraud in Washington
Fraud is known as a white color crime and usually involves deception, breach of trust, and outright lying. In Washington, there are many things which can encompass fraud, such as:
- “Identity theft and related crimes;
- Writing bad checks (check fraud);
- Illegal possession of an ID;
- Insurance Fraud, including unemployment insurance fraud;
- Workers compensation fraud;
- Welfare fraud;
- Credit card fraud;
- Payroll fraud;
- Mortgage fraud;
- Bankruptcy fraud;
- Securities and investment fraud.”
Although Total Reclaim Inc. was hit with federal charges, if the state also filed charges there may be an added charge of “Criminal profiteering,” which means
- “any act, including any anticipatory or completed offense, committed for financial gain, that is chargeable or indictable under the laws of the state in which the act occurred and, if the act occurred in a state other than this state, would be chargeable or indictable under the laws of this state had the act occurred in this state.”
Criminal profiteering can be one of several things that fall under the preceding definition, such as fraud.
Penalty of Fraudulent Acts in Washington
As previously eluded to, criminal profiteering is “punishable as a felony and by imprisonment for more than one year, regardless of whether the act is charged or indicted, as” a type of fraud such as:
- Financial Fraud;
- Extortion; or
- Money laundering.
The penalty for acts such as forgery and financial fraud in Washington amount to a class C felony and you may face up to 60 days in jail and a $10,000 fine. That being said, at the federal level as is the case for Total Reclaim Inc., you can potentially face much higher fines and penalties due to violations of federal regulations and toxicity and potential danger to the environment and the population.
Contact the Law Offices Steve Karimi
If you or a loved one has been arrested for any type of fraud in Washington, it is imperative that you seek legal representation immediately. Criminal defense attorney Steve Karimi is a top-rated defense attorney in the Seattle area who can strongly defend you against these very serious charges. Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor who has the knowledge and legal insight to provide you with the most aggressive legal defense possible. Do not wait, contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.