Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Boss of Calne landfill site jailed for fraud
The boss of a Calne landfill site who ran a £900,000 fraud cheating taxpayers and his bosses has been jailed for two years.
Malcolm Smart organised the under-weighing of lorry loads of waste arriving at the tip in exchange for kick backs from customers.
And his colleague Victor Millen, who operated the weighbridge, was jailed for 16 months for his part in the scam.
Smart, 51, from Broad Town, was employed by recycling as site manager at the Sand Farm Landfill Site on Sand Pit Road, Calne, along with 64-year-old Millen, of Blunsdon.
Brendon Moorhouse, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how his employer Viridor became concerned about what was going on there in late 2009.
He said lorries and dustcarts paid by weight to dump their loads at the site.
Covert surveillance of the amounts going through on a day in early October 2009 revealed at least three loads were under-weighed costing the firm £3,500.
A few days later auditors went to the tip and noticed the takings rocketed when they were there, falling again when they left.
Both men were then spoken to by bosses and then the police where they admitted what they had been doing.
Smart, who was on a salary of almost £35,000, said he had told his colleague to under-weigh lorries for about six months, saying he received nothing for it.
Millen, on more than £22,000, said they had been at it for nearly three years during which time he received regular brown envelopes of cash from Smart, totalling between £10,000 and £20,000.
Mr Moorhouse said the three ways they cheated their bosses was by under weighing the loads, misclassifying waste and ignoring some vehicles arriving at the site.
Smart, of Broad Town Road, Broad Town, and Millen, of Ermin Street, Blunsdon, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud.
They admitted that between the start of April 2007 and October 10, 2009, they cost the company £907,255; of which about £200,000 was in landfill tax and VAT.
Rob Ross, for Smart, said: “He had been approached by a company to effectively do one of two things, or allow one of two things, i.e. undercharging or under-weighing.”
He said there were clearly more people involved in what was going on but just the two men in the dock facing the music.
After operating the scam for one business it spread to others and his motivation for starting was to keep the business at the site going.
Mike Pulsford, for Millen, said though his client played a key role in the conspiracy he was brought into it by his co-defendant to join the scam.
Jailing them Judge Douglas Field said: “This was a fraud that involved a large number of parties.
“I am quite satisfied that you Smart were prevailed upon by the users, the customers, of this landfill site who were complaining about the every increasing charges that they were required to pay to use the site.
“You fell into temptation. You were the general manager; you were in a very considerable position of trust at this site.
“This scam could not have been operated without the co-operation of the person using the weighbridge. You Millen were the weighbridge operator.
“Your co-operation was vital to this substantial scam which that went for two-and-a-half years.
“The company and the Revenue are losers and it seems to me that the general public are the losers. They have to be protected by the safe disposal of waste.
“The Government is rightly concerned about the amount of landfill used for waste, that is why pricing structures have been put in place.”
An investigation was launched into seven directors of waste disposal companies who may have benefited from the scam, but no charges were brought against any of them.