A man jailed for his involvement in a £500,000 plastics recycling scam has been ordered to pay back almost £10,000.
Paul Matthews, 48, was jailed for three years in May 2014 after admitting his involvement in the theft of 150,000 plastic trays leased by Warburtons to transport bread.
The stolen baskets were then sold to Matthews’ recycling firm, PM Plastics, in Sudellside Street, Darwen, which granulated 230 tonnes of £500-a-tonne-stolen baskets.
According to the Lancashire Telegraph, Matthews must now pay back £9,970 within three months or face a further six months in jail, following a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Preston Crown Court last week (1 April).
Two employees of the well-known bread makers were also jailed for a combined seven and a half years for their part in the theft.
Paul Rogers, former delivery driver for the company, and his former bakery boss, Robert Cooper, plotted with Matthews after Warburtons began recycling its bread baskets in November 2010 and a new universal basket was introduced by supplier Bakers Basco.
Bakers Basco noticed Warburtons appeared to have 90,000 baskets unaccounted for in 2011 – the amount worth a sum of more than £560,000.
In March 2012, Bakers Basco received an anonymous phone call, telling them there was a large number of its baskets at PM Plastics and the baskets were discovered.
Matthews was arrested and officers seized more than 5,340 baskets, three tonnes of chipped plastic and nuts, bolts and wheels.