By Cal Coast Times Staff
A CalCoastNews investigation has led to the payment of almost $35,000 to CalRecycle in a false claim investigation of Charles Tenborg, a contractor working with the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA).
Tenborg paid $34,634 in restitution to the state after a CalRecycle investigation found that Tenborg had submitted false representations for government funds to the Covered Electronic Waste Recycling and Recovering Program, according to CalRecycle.
Early this year, CalRecycle levied 17 notices of violation against Charles Tenborg for asking for payments for processing or dismantling electronic waste that was not processed or dismantled. From March 2014 through July 2015, Tenborg’s company received more than $30,000 for the false claims, according to the notices of violation.
In response to the notices of violation, Tenborg claimed issues with inadequate staffing and oversight had led to the false claims.
The Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003, established a funding system to promote the proper collection and recycling of certain types of electronic wastes. Tenborg collected electronics at multiple points including the SLO County IWMA household hazardous waste facilities, according to Tenborg’s applications to participate in the state’s electronic waste recycling program.
Because of the duration of the false claims, Tenborg’s potential penalties were from $4,000 to $15,000 for each of the 17 violations.
On Feb. 21, Tenborg signed a stipulated payment agreement to send the state a check for $34,643. Tenborg followed through with a check to the state.
The investigation began shortly after a CalCoastNews reporter informed CalRecycle that several of Tenborg’s former employees had said he was falsifying electronic payment requests to the state.
In 2013, Tenborg filed a lawsuit against reporters Karen Velie, Dan Blackburn and CalCoastNews for libel in what appeared to be an attempt by Tenborg and SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill to shutter critical reporting of county officials and contractors.
Two of Blackburn and Velie’s witnesses died before trial, the judge blocked most of their evidence and the plaintiff allegedly provided false testimony in the case, according to investigator Carl Knudson. In March 2017, Tenborg was awarded a $1.1 million judgment that is being contested as the result of continuing investigations into his company.
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