Leeds fraudster who paid for Bentley and luxury holidays through recycling scam must pay back £1.3m

A fraudster who led a lavish life of five-star luxury has been ordered to pay back the £1.3m he illegally earned in a recycling scam.

Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 17:32 pm
An image of the TLC Recycling site run by Terry Dugbo

Terry Dugbo is currently serving a seven-and-a-half year prison sentence after defrauding the electrical waste recycling industry out of £2.2m.

The sentence handed down at Leeds Crown Court in July 2016 remains the longest ever for an environmental crime.

Dugbo was returned to court yesterday where he was told he must pay back some £1,373,060 which had been acquired through his illegal activity.

He was given three months to pay the sum and faces a further eight years in prison if he fails to do so.

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The confiscation was brought by the Environment Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act following a financial investigation into the profit Dugbo made from his crimes.

Dugbo was convicted of conspiracy to defraud, acting as a company director while disqualified and breaching an environmental permitting condition after a seven-week trial. He was convicted of falsifying paperwork to illegitimately claim that his Leeds based firm, TLC Recycling Ltd, had collected and recycled more than 19,500 tonnes of household electrical waste during 2011.

In reality, his company had never handled the amounts of waste described and he was not entitled to the substantial fees he was paid from two waste recycling schemes. Investigation into his finances uncovered bank accounts in Nigeria, Senegal and Spain.

Further documents revealed that Dugbo led a lavish lifestyle with five-star holidays in Ibiza and mainland Europe, luxury vehicles, including a Bentley and tailor-made suits.

The Environment Agency’s Dr Paul Salter said: “This hearing demonstrates how seriously we take waste crime and we’ll continue to take action against those operating outside of the law and the regulations.”

Terry Dugbo's original court hearing in 2016

Terence Solomon Dugbo, 45, of High Ash Avenue, Alwoodley, falsified paperwork to illegitimately claim that his Leeds-based firm TLC Recycling Ltd had collected and recycled more than 19,500 tonnes of household electrical goods in 2011.

A major Environment Agency investigation found that his firm had never handled such amounts, and had claimed money from government-backed recycling schemes for collections from some properties that did not exist. After a seven-week trial he was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud, acting as a company director while disqualified and breaching an environmental permitting condition. Dugbo was handed a record sentence for an environmental crime at a hearing at Leeds Crown Court.

The Environment Agency investigation uncovered records which showed vehicles supposedly used by the firm were in use in other countries. Paperwork also revealed that a moped was said to have carried waste 42 times, and on one trip hauled 991 TVs and 413 fridges between Dugbo’s businesses. Weights of individual items said to have been collected were also exaggerated, with fax machines logged as weighing 47kg and drills at 80kg.

During the sentencing, Judge Neil Clarke, who disqualified Dugbo from acting as a company director for 12 years and granted a request under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover some of the £2.2m, stated that Dugbo was “a risk to the public”.

He said: “What I found really amazing was the amount and complexity of the false paperwork. The scale of the investigation here was enormous.”

Dugbo had previous convictions for fraud and illegally exporting banned hazardous waste to Nigeria and had been disqualified from acting as a company director until November 2017 due to debts accrued at a previous company. His involvement in TLC Recycling, which has since gone into liquidation, was in breach of this disqualification.