A federal judge on July 23 ordered the owners of Total Reclaim Inc. to spend two years in prison and pay nearly $1 million in restitution after they were found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud last year.
Craig Lorch, 61, and Jeff Zirkle, 55, and their company Total Reclaim had been leaders in electronic waste recycling—that was until a 2016 investigation by the Basel Action Network, a Seattle-based nonprofit that certifies responsible recyclers and works to limit trade in hazardous waste.
Basel Action Network said it used GPS trackers to follow LCD screens and found that some delivered to Total Reclaim ended up in Hong Kong, where they were being dismantled in unsafe conditions.
Instead of safely recycling their customers’ e-waste, Total Reclaim reportedly sent more than 8 million pounds of flat screen monitors to Hong Kong between 2008 and 2015 to cut costs. Zirkle and Lorch allegedly used false records to hide the transactions.
Basel Action Network has more:
In what an industry watchdog called a message to false advertisers, a federal judge Tuesday ordered the owners of the Northwest’s largest electronic waste recycler to spend more than two years in prison.
Craig Lorch, 61, of Seattle, and Jeff Zirkle, 55, of Bonney Lake, and their company Total Reclaim had been leaders in electronic waste recycling. That was until a 2016 investigation by the Basel Action Network, which certifies responsible recyclers and works to limit trade in hazardous waste.
Our international undercover investigation reveals what really happens to America’s discarded TVs, phones and computers.