Terry Soloman Dugbo, a 48 year old man from Leeds, is currently serving a record 7 years and 6 months custodial sentence after defrauding the electrical waste recycling industry of £2.2 million in 2016 following an Environment Agency investigation. The result follows a Proceeds of Crime hearing at Leeds Crown Court.
In February 2019, Dugbo was ordered to pay back more than £1.3 million of the £2.2 million he acquired through illegal activity, on top of over £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. Despite numerous court orders Dugbo failed to make any payments towards the £1.3 million 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.
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 £1.3 million 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.
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.
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.
Dugbo has previous convictions for fraud and illegally exporting banned hazardous waste to Nigeria. He had denied the charges in this latest case – conspiracy to defraud, acting as a company director while disqualified, and breaching an environmental permitting condition – but he was found guilty on all counts.
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