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State Officials Bust $14M Can, Bottle Recycling Scheme

LOS ANGELES (AP) — State recycling officials say they've busted a ring of fraudsters who illegally redeemed $14 million worth of cans and bottles trucked in from Arizona.

A grand jury in Kern County indicted five Californians on charges including grand theft and recycling fraud in an alleged scheme that CalRecycle said Thursday involved more than 200 million cans or bottles.

Recyclable containers sold in California include a five- or 10-cent charge, depending on their size. Out-of-state containers can't be redeemed in California because the cans or bottles were not subject to a deposit into the state's redemption fund.

According to CalRecycle, about 18 private recycling centers were implicated in the scheme because they accepted the Arizona cans and bottles. The centers are responsible for determining containers' origins.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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