BROTHERS from Solihull who made up paperwork to receive £1.5 million for recycling have been convicted of fraudulent trading and theft.
Jamil and Saleem Rehman were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on December 19, following their prosecution for a fraud where they submitted ‘fictitious claims’ for recycling electronic goods.
Jamil Rehman, aged 56 of Monkspath, Solihull, was sentenced to five years and four months in prison, while his brother Saleem, aged 55 of Shirley, Solihull, received a 16 month custodial sentence suspended for two years, after they pleaded guilty to their crimes.
A specialist fraud team at the Environment Agency investigated forged paperwork which showed they had recycled approximately 10,600 tonnes of electronic waste, to claim £1.48 million from producer compliance scheme, Weeelight Ltd.
Between January 2011 and December 2012, Jamil Rehman, who was the sole director at Electronic Waste Specialists Ltd (EWS), was contracted by Weeelight Ltd as an approved treatment facility.
The fraud came to light when the Environment Agency’s National Investigations Team became suspicious of the paperwork that EWS, which operated out of a warehouse in Devon Street, Nechells, Birmingham, had submitted.
At a hearing on January 23 2019, Jamil Rehman pleaded guilty to one charge of fraudulent trading. On the same date, Saleem Rehman pleaded guilty to a charge of theft from the company.
During the investigation, the Environment Agency undertook a surveillance operation in relation to Jamil Rehman as he asserted he was not fit to plead.
The agency filmed him driving and hiring lorries in 2018 and 2019.
Jamil Rehman applied to vacate his plea but there was inadequate defence medical evidence to support the application.
Prosecutors told the court his brother, Saleem, stole approximately £36,000 from the company account, spending the money on foreign travel, school fees and car hire.
EWS Ltd went into voluntary liquidation in 2014 with debts of over £116,000.
Speaking after the case, the Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation, said: “The Environment Agency has a specialist crime unit using intelligence to track and prosecute organised crime groups involved in illegal waste activity.
“This case sends out a clear message that we will not hesitate to take action against anyone operating illegally.
“Waste crime is a serious issue diverting as much as £1 billion each year from legitimate business and the Treasury. Since April 2011 the Environment Agency has invested £65.2 million in tackling it.
“Waste companies, local authorities and businesses all have a responsibility to check what happens to their waste. If you suspect that a company is doing something wrong, you can call the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”