Former ECUA Recycling Manager Charged With Stealing Over Half Million

November 13, 2019

A former recycling manager at the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) has been charged with stealing over a half million dollars worth of recyclables through a shell company he owned.

Jarrell Lamar Reynolds, age 42 of Pensacola, was charged with grand theft and fraud. He was later released from jail on a $100,0000 bond.

In September of 2018, Reynolds was hired by ECUA to manage the recycling operation at the Perdido Landfill.

“He was hired, according to ECUA management, because of his experience in the industry and his personal contacts with potential new vendors and customers,” an arrest report states. “ECUA believed that hiring Reynolds would increase the efficiency of the the recycling operation and increase their revenues through the introduction of new customers for their recyclable material.”

On December 5, 2018, Reynolds chartered a company called JAT Recycling in Georgia, and he was lone officer of the company.  It was through this company investigators said he received funds from three legitimate ECUA customers and converted the proceeds for his personal use, including a $16,000 down payment on a Porsche Panamera.

The three companies — ASM Recycling, Wise Recycling and Cellmark — are all legitimate companies that purchase recyclables in bulk for processing or transport them to other companies where they are turned into viable, sellable products.

Investigators said it appeared management at Cellmark and ASM were led to believe that Reynolds’ JAT was acting as a broker between ECUA and their companies.

“This is not an unusual step, where a broker plays matchmaker between seller and buyer and takes a small percentage of the sale in commission. In this instance, however, JAT has so far kept all the proceeds and refused to have any additional contact with ECUA,” the arrest report states.

ECUA left his position suddenly and without notice near the end of January 2019, shortly after an ECUA auditor began to ask questions. There continued to be email correspondence for a short time between ECUA and Reynolds where JAT promised to make payment.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said JAT and Reynolds received $510,0685.06 in a Suntrust bank account from Cellmark, ASM and Wise Recycling for material taken from ECUA’s recycling facility. Bank records also show Reynolds withdrew $482,330 in cash and checks from the account.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office made repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact Reynolds, but calls were all unreturned. Email contact attempts were also unsuccessful.

When the ECUA director of finance sent an invoice to JAT Recycling in March 2019, they received this response: “Payments are pending due to the criminal investigation of Jarrell Reynolds. All commodities were legally sold to JAT Recycling and we take full accountability of funds due. Please cease and desist all criminal actions against Jarrell Reynolds so we can move forward with getting this paid.”

There was been no additional contact from JAT to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office or ECUA.

Pictured top: The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). File photo.


17 Responses to “Former ECUA Recycling Manager Charged With Stealing Over Half Million”

  1. Eric Jordan on August 10th, 2020 1:38 am

    Internal investigation I think would open alot of misuse of funds and More.

  2. Eric Jordan on August 10th, 2020 1:36 am

    I’m with Mr. Lyons so much underhanded financial gain going on within Ecua starting from the top down to The Director’s. Outside investigation would shine it’s light on the behavior and abuse of power and gain.

  3. mike on November 14th, 2019 12:13 am

    He almost stole as much as someone else that stole 2 million from a charity with no criminal charges.

  4. Can you smeelll-lllll-lll what the Rock is cookin..??!! on November 13th, 2019 11:58 pm

    He looks a bit like a famous movie/.WWE wrestle mania star….just sayin

  5. Wharf Rat on November 13th, 2019 11:17 pm

    A running argument in the neighborhood….does our household garbage and our recyclables all go to the landfill? I recycle to a fault, and cuss the people who throw garbage onto the side of the road. I still pay for a recycle container. Does anybody know what is going on?

  6. Howie on November 13th, 2019 8:11 pm

    Since we are discussing recycling – The recycle cans on Hwy 297A and surrounding streets are missed on the day of pickup about three times per month. At least once per month they are on time. Whoop-de-doo !

  7. paul on November 13th, 2019 7:14 pm

    the garbage man is nothing but a common thief – bonded out with stolen monies

  8. David Huie Green on November 13th, 2019 7:10 pm

    And THAT’S why we have accountants and auditors.

  9. CHARLIE on November 13th, 2019 7:01 pm

    Hmm. Over 500 Grand? I guess that might more than cover his 100 Thousand bond, with a tidy sum left over!

  10. John Doe on November 13th, 2019 4:01 pm

    one man’s trash is another man’s treasure

  11. Kennie Lyons on November 13th, 2019 10:17 am

    If ECUA could be thoroughly investigated by an outsider, ratepayers would cringe. What this individual alleged to have done and if found guilty he deserves it, but there’s more an likely more heads who have not yet been caught. ECUA’s upper management think they are smooth operators and untouchable, but don’t be fool, light always exposes darkness.

  12. Bewildered on November 13th, 2019 10:09 am

    In 3 month this guy managed to steal half a million dollars! Wow- who says recycling does not pay ? The courts should try to confiscate his assets right away for restitution – not set him loose to hide all his money and assets before he goes to court, claims he is broke and gets slapped on the hand!

  13. tg on November 13th, 2019 9:59 am

    All along ECUA has said recycle was unprofitable I can see why.

  14. Question on November 13th, 2019 8:49 am

    My question is what was his salary while he was stealing from ECUA?

  15. Rusty Shakleford on November 13th, 2019 8:36 am

    It seems like a definite conflict of interest where an employee is profiting from a company who’s sources are ultimately from his employer. Greed at it’s best with him being sole beneficiary. At least show only an interest in said company….not the one and only. ECUA is to blame here too. No wonder it’s not worthwhile to deal with recyclables when ECUA is not paying attention to their holdings! The bond should be set on alleged amount stolen. He for sure has 10k to get out of jail increasing the risk of flight. If he is convicted of this crime……what a thug.

  16. Oversight on November 13th, 2019 6:47 am

    White collar crime in Escambia County where the fox is allowed to guard a hen house full of cash. ECUA, this is what happens when you want it real bad (profit), you get it real bad (hired a thief).

  17. James on November 13th, 2019 4:55 am

    What a convincing statement from JAT when it received the invoice for payment! Who would have ever thought something didn’t seem right?! LOL! Never heard of a legitimate company withholding funds for payment for the reason stated.

    Warning to other idiot criminals: using fancy or legal terms from a thesaurus or Google doesn’t necessarily make the statement come across as educated and legit.

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