Brandon Richter, 38, of Highlands Ranch, owner and CEO of Executive Recycling Inc., and Tor Olson, 37, of Parker, former vice president of operations, were convicted Dec. 21 of multiple counts of mail and wire fraud, numerous environmental crimes related to the illegal disposal of electronic waste, smuggling and obstruction.
The trial, which began Dec. 3, wrapped up after two and a half days of jury deliberation on Dec. 21. The two executives, and their Denver-based corporation, will be sentenced in federal court by Judge William J. Martinez in April.
“This criminal conviction demonstrates that there are no shortcuts to following U.S. export laws,” said Kumar Kibble, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Denver.
“For years this company also deceived the public by falsely advertising an environmentally friendly U.S. recycling business plan. Instead, it regularly exported obsolete and discarded electronic equipment with toxic materials to Third World countries, and took actions to illegally hide these practices from the government.”
According to the indictment, the company collected electronic waste from private households, businesses, and government entities, loaded the cargo at their Denver facility and then shipped it by rail and ship to China and smaller, Third World countries. Richter was responsible for supervising all aspects of the company, while Olson ran day-to-day operations.
Both men face seven counts of wire fraud, each count of which carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. They also face up to 10 years and another $250,000 fine for one count each of exportation contrary to law.
Additionally, Richter faces one count of destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations and bankruptcy, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. There is also an asset forfeiture allegation, which states that upon conviction the defendants shall forfeit to the United States any and all property or proceeds derived from their illegal activity.
Executive Recycling as a corporation faces a $500,000 fine per count for seven wire fraud counts, or twice the gross gain or loss. The corporation also faces a conviction for one count of failure to file notification of intent to export hazardous waste, which carries a penalty of a $50,000 fine per day of violation, or twice the gross gain or loss. The corporation also faces one count of exportation contrary to law, which carries a penalty of $500,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss.