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Calne landfill site boss ran a £900k fraud
8:00pm Wednesday 5th September 2012 in News
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 kickbacks 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 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 Smart’s 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, with active waste being charged at ten to 20 times the price of inert waste.
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 on the day.
A few days later auditors went to the tip and noticed that the takings rocketed when they were there, falling again when they left.
Both men were spoken to by bosses and then the police, when 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 at the site 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 brown envelopes of cash from Smart, totalling between £10,000 and £20,000.
Mr Moorhouse said that the three ways they cheated their bosses were by under-weighing 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 beginning 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 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 Smart’s motivation for starting was to keep the business at the site going.
Mike Pulsford, for Millen, said that 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: “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.”
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.