A skip company boss who made almost £1m from running an illegal waste transfer site has been ordered to pay back some of the money.
Raymond Shepherd, who ran Darlington-based Albert Hill Skip Hire, was found to have made £980,207 from operating the site unlawfully between 2008 and 2012.
On 23 February, following a four-day confiscation hearing at Teesside Crown Court, Shepherd was given a confiscation order to pay back £14,000 of available assets.
He could face up to six months in prison if he fails to pay, and will have to pay back more of the £1m sum if he comes into more assets.
Shepherd was given 18 months in prison in December 2013 after the Environment Agency concluded an investigation into the illegal waste operation. He was also disqualified from being a company director for 10 years.
Two other men, who have not been named by the Environment Agency, were given suspended prison sentences in 2013, and Albert Hill Skip Hire was fined £100,000.
The business, which previously held a restricted O-licence authorising up to four vehicles and three trailers, began running the illegal waste site in Dodsworth Street, Darlington, in July 2008. It received a permit in April 2009, but by November 2009 it was given its first enforcement notice.
More enforcement notices were served in 2010; a suspension notice was given in 2011; and it had its permit revoked in 2012.
An investigation by the Environment Agency discovered that the company had been depositing and storing waste on an access road and cement-bound asbestos was found on the site.
Two major fires broke out at the site. The waste has since been cleared.
Shepherd argued that the activities at the sites were carried out lawfully.
Oliver Harmar, North East area director for the Environment Agency, said: “This is a debt that will follow Raymond Shepherd around for the rest of his life. It sends out a message to the industry that waste crime does not pay and not only will we hit people with court action but we’ll then hit them in the pocket.
“Shepherd’s illegal waste operations were carried out in the interests of profit, unfortunately at the expense of the environment. Not to mention by not complying with regulations, he undermined legitimate businesses.”
A previous proceeds of crime hearing in 2015 saw Shepherd’s son, Tony Shepherd, ordered to pay back £350,000. He failed to do so and was sent to prison for three years in May 2016.