Bryan Cohen Jan. 23, 2014, 3:24pm

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Tuesday that a New Jersey-based beverage company will pay close to $160,000 to resolve allegations it violated New York's Returnable Container Act.

FID Distributors LLC allegedly collected deposits on beverage containers it sold but failed to send the state 80 percent of the deposits that were never claimed. The law, which is also referred to as the Bottle Bill, requires that a five-cent deposit be collected either before or when a beverage container covered by the law is first sold or offered for sale in the state. The entity that collects the deposit must remit 80 percent of unclaimed deposits to the state on a quarterly basis.

"The Bottle Bill is one of New York's hallmark environmental laws," Schneiderman said. "Companies that skirt the Bottle Bill not only hurt recycling and anti-littering efforts, they also deprive the state of critical funding for environmental protection programs. FID Distributors broke the law by pocketing unclaimed deposits that it owed to the state. My office will continue to safeguard New Yorkers and their communities by aggressively enforcing our state's environmental protection laws."

FID allegedly collected $411,782 in unclaimed deposits between October 2010 and May 2012, while failing to remit any of the required 80 percent of the unclaimed deposits. The amount allegedly owed to the state totaled $329,426.

Under the terms of an assurance of discontinuance, FID will pay New York $159,227. FID is no longer distributing containers subject to the law in the state of New York.

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