A man from Flint has pleaded guilty to returning more than 10,000 non-returnable cans and bottles in the state, according to the Michigan attorney general's office.
John Custer Woodfill, 70, is accused of being a part of an elaborate scheme with his now deceased partner that involved buying uncrushed cans and bottles as scrap in Indiana and returning them throughout lower Michigan to cash in on the state's refund law.
For some of the mismarked cans, Woodfill is accused of creating phony labels.
This is believed to have happened from April 2012 to April 2015.
AG Bill Schuette says he owes $400,000 in state restitution.
“This was not a one-time nickel-and-dime case,” said Schuette in a statement. “This man orchestrated bogus refunds for tens of thousands of non-returnable beverage containers. In effect he stole from Michigan’s bottle return program that has long served to protect and promote a healthy environment. His actions also negatively affected distributors, merchants and even consumers who carry much of the burden in making the program work.”
Woodfill's sentencing is scheduled for May 2.