United States: Three San Francisco Garbage Companies Admit Bribery And Pay $36 Million To Resolve Federal Investigation

Three trash disposal companies that serve San Francisco, all subsidiaries of Recology Inc., were charged today in federal court with conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and have agreed to pay $36 million in criminal penalties, to revamp their corporate structure, and to cooperate fully in ongoing law enforcement and regulatory investigations, announced Acting United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair, and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Daniels.

“San Francisco citizens were victimized for years in a bribery scheme involving public contractors and a powerful, corrupt San Francisco public official,” announced Acting United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds.  “San Francisco citizens expect and deserve honest services from its government.  Today, the SF Recology Group and its parent company Recology, Inc. are taking positive steps to rectify that flagrant wrong and have committed to full cooperation in the ongoing investigation into San Francisco City Hall corruption.”

“Today’s resolution is the result of years of hard work by the FBI and its partners to combat corruption in San Francisco,” said Craig D. Fair, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI San Francisco Field Office.  “While engaging in bribery, SF Recology Group prioritized money over the trust of their customers. The FBI remains committed to seeking out instances of public corruption and holding those who violate federal law accountable for their actions.”

“The significant amount of illegal kickbacks SF Recology Group paid to Mohammed Nuru demonstrates a corrupt and reprehensible cheating of the American public,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Daniels.  “It is unacceptable and illegal to help yourself to public funds, but if you do, know this: IRS Criminal Investigation will be there waiting to seek justice on behalf of the citizens of San Francisco.”

The federal information filed today alleges that the companies Recology San Francisco, Sunset Scavenger Company, and Golden Gate Disposal & Recycling Company – collectively referred to as the SF Recology Group – conspired to bribe the former Director of San Francisco’s Department of Public Works (DPW), Mohammed Nuru.  The entities of the SF Recology Group are each privately-held companies of their parent company Recology Inc., which is headquartered in San Francisco (the City) and provides trash collection services for the City’s residents, businesses, and government.  During the conspiracy, Mohammed Nuru presided as Director over DPW.  DPW had an annual budget of more than $350 million and was one of San Francisco’s largest municipal operations.  Nuru had substantial influence over the SF Recology Group’s business with the City, including the ability to influence its contract rates and to approve or deny its proposed operational changes.

The original full article can be found at justice.gov

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