Two &to=http://english.pravda.ru/economics/2001/10/18/18484.htm' target=_blank>mail company executives were sentenced to two years in jail Monday for dumping more than 360,000 letters and packages their company had been paid to deliver.
Police believe Inderpal Narula, 33, and Royston Heaton, 42, made as much as 3 million pounds (US$5.2 million; Ђ4.4 million) from the scam. Their company Mail Logistics had contracts to deliver mail for Britain's Royal Mail and other firms.
Judge Andrew Goymer ordered Narula to pay 500,000 pounds (US$860,000; Ђ730,000) and Heaton 400,000 pounds (US$690,000; Ђ584,000) in compensation to those whose mail was lost.
Most will go to large organizations, including the Tottenham Hotspur soccer team, Amnesty International and the British Medical Council.
"This is the largest case of mail destruction ever investigated and the sheer volume of people who have been affected is incredible," said Detective Sgt. Peter Foley, of the police economic and specialist crime command.
The two ordered fork-lift operator Zhivko Antov, 26, to dump the mail in three huge garbage containers around London. Prosecutors said the parcels included hospital blood test results, university acceptance letters and charitable appeals.
Mail Logistics charged between 1 pound (US$1.70; Ђ1.50) and 100 pounds (US$170; Ђ150) for the delivery of each piece of mail. Royal Mail officials became suspicious when some magazine subscribers complained they had not received their publications.