United States
LrivitCirniieiiLal Mrotcclion
Ag en ry
              Criminal  Enforcement  Alert
 Volume 1, Issue 2
 October 2011
 Smog in  a valley and a vehi-
 cle exhaust pipe (inset).

 Why are fraudulent
 vehicle emissions
 tests a problem?
 Answer:  Emissions from
 motor vehicle exhaust is one
 of the major sources of ni-
 trogen oxides (NOx) and
 volatile organic compounds
 (VOCs) in the air. Ground-
 level or "bad" ozone is cre-
 ated by chemical reactions
 between NOx and VOCs in
 the presence of sunlight.

 Breathing ozone can trigger
 a variety of health problems
 including chest pain, cough-
 ing, throat irritation, and
 congestion. Repeated expo-
 sure may permanently scar
 lung tissue.
 Daily air quality forecast map,
 available on airnow.gov.
                  Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training
                        October 2011
               New Vehicle Testing Technology Makes

               Inspection Fraud Easier to  Detect, Spurs

               Increased EPA Criminal  Enforcement

               Fraudulent vehicle emissions test schemes have been around for many years but
               have been difficult to detect and enforce against because inspectors had to be
               "caught in the act."The only way to catch inspectors who issued fraudulent certifi-
               cates to vehicle owners, indicating that their vehicles had passed state inspection
               when they had not, was to use undercover agents to take vehicles to be tested that
               had been set to fail the inspection, or to
               use remote surveillance of inspection
               In recent years, however, the majority of |
               vehicle inspection and maintenance pro-
               grams across the country have begun
               using onboard diagnostic-based testing
               in place of traditional tailpipe tests on
               model year 1996 and newer vehicles.
               While traditional tailpipe tests are rela-
               tively easy to trick by using a clean vehi-
               cle in place of a dirty one (a practice
               known as "clean piping"), the new test-
               ing technique is capable of detecting when the vehicle information  entered does not
               match the test results. Armed with this powerful new enforcement tool, EPA criminal
               investigators, state attorneys general offices, and public safety offices have taken a
               number of enforcement actions against vehicle emissions inspectors who violate the
               Clean Air Act by conducting fraudulent inspections and issue fraudulent certificates.
               A Case  Study: Nevada
Idling cars on a highway.
               EPA began its stepped-up enforcement efforts against
               fraudulent vehicle inspections in 2009. Investigating
               alongside the Nevada Highway  Patrol, EPA's Criminal
               Investigation Division focused on ten Nevada emis-
               sions inspectors who among them issued more than
               200 fraudulent smog certificates between November
               2007 and early 2009.
               In what became known as the Fraudulent Emissions
               Certificate Operation, all ten inspectors have all been
               charged and sentenced, or are  currently awaiting sen-
               tencing. They are Wajdi Waked, Alexander Worster,
               Joseph DeMatteo, David Nelson, Adolfo Contreras,
               Eduardo Franco, William McCown, Louis Demeo, Pete
               Escudero, and Gary Smith. Nelson received a sentence
               of three years' probation and eight months home con-
           Did you know?

           Ozone pollution is a concern
           during the summer months
           because strong sunlight and hot
           weather result in harmful ozone
           concentrations in the air we
           breathe. Many urban and
           suburban areas throughout the
           United States have high levels of
           "bad" ozone. But many rural
           areas of the country are also
           subject to high ozone levels as
           winds carry emissions hundreds
           of miles away from their original
               finement for his involvement. Smith pled guilty to
               making a material false statement in connection with the scam and is awaiting sen-
               tencing. The other defendants are also awaiting sentencing.
                                                                                          Page 1

Dealerships, Sales-
men, and Technicians
Involved in Scam
In North Carolina, Chuck
Yee Cheung, a car salesman
for Hendrick BMW in Char-
lotte, has been charged in
federal district court with
violating the Clean Air Act.
According to investigators, at
least three former service
technicians of the dealership,
two of whom had state in-
spection licenses, were con-
ducting  clean-scans on vehi-
cles using an illegal simulator
purchased on the internet.
The technicians,  Craig Dick-
inson, Jin Sung Chang, Alex-
ander Christian Edwards con-
fessed to the scheme and
DMV investigators seized the
In Missouri, Hershel Clark,
an emission inspector for
Clark Tire Wholesale, has
been sentenced in federal
district court  to three years
probation, of which one year
is to be  served as home con-
finement, and is  required to
perform 100 hours of com-
munity service. The Missouri
Department of Natural Re-
sources and the Missouri
State Highway Patrol  identi-
fied two employees of Clark
Tire performing fraudulent
emissions testing on auto-
mobiles. The fraud had been
detected using computer
data base information main-
tained by the highway patrol.
In Texas, the Texas  Depart-
ment of Public Safety has
identified several local car
dealerships knowingly par-
ticipating in the generation
of the fraudulent emissions
tests at state vehicle  inspec-
tion stations in Arlington,
Texas.   Nine men who own
and operate Mike's Auto Care
in Arlington, a state vehicle
inspection station, are soon
to be indicted for violating
the Clean Air Act and con-

October 2011
       Criminal  Enforcement  Alert

Fraudulent Emissions Testing May Be
Nevada is not the only state where fraudulent vehicle
emissions testing is taking place. Other states where
EPA investigations have led to prosecutions include
Georgia,  North Carolina, Missouri, and Texas.
In Georgia, Michael Kelly, of Atlanta, was sentenced
on June 27 in a federal district court to serve two
years in federal prison for violating the Clean Air Act
by fraudulently issuing emissions certificates to cars
that would have failed the emissions inspection re-
quired by  law. Two other collaborators in the crime,
Jackie Baker and James Hinton, await sentencing
from the same court.
All three were licensed emissions inspectors working
at a "Stop-N-Shop" in College Park, Georgia, through
May 2009  when they lost their licenses. During the
five-month period from January to May 2009, they
issued more than  1,400 fraudulent emissions certifi-
cates to car owners, falsely stating that the owners'
cars had passed the required emissions test. Kelly
issued 476 fraudulent certificates himself.
How  it Worked
Their procedure was to connect cars they knew would
pass the test to emissions equipment  instead of con-
necting the equipment to the owners'  real cars.  Dur-
ing  the tests, the computer system automatically
transmitted emissions testing data to  a statewide da-
tabase accessible  by the Georgia  Environmental Pro-
tection Division. False information was entered into
the system, such as the make, model, and vehicle
identification number, to make it  appear those own-
ers' real cars, many of which had already failed an
emissions  test or showed equipment malfunctions,
were  being tested. Owners were charged $100 to $125 for a fraudulent emissions
test, far more than the usual $20 charged for a legitimate inspection. Georgia law
prohibits inspection stations from charging more than $25 for an emissions test.
                              The EPA criminal enforcement program is part of EPA's
                              Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. It is
                              headquartered in Washington, D.C. with field investi-
                              gative offices in EPA's 10 regional offices and in more
                              than 30 other locations across the country.  The Na-
                              tional Enforcement Investigations Center in Lakewood,
                              Co., provides forensics, science and technical support
                              for both criminal and civil environmental investiga-
                              tions. The National Computer Forensics Laboratory in
                              Jacksonville, Ft., specializes in the seizure, review and
                              analysis of electronic evidence and advanced under-
                              cover surveillance operations.
         Vehicle emissions testing facil-
         "Fraudulent emissions tests
         result in increased pollution
         from cars and light trucks -
         the major cause of smog in
         the metro Atlanta area. In-
         creased smog is directly linked
         to increases in asthma and
         other respiratory illnesses,
         particularly in sensitive popu-
         lations. By taking action
         against the criminals who by-
         pass the federal emission
         standards of the Clean Air Act,
         EPA is taking the necessary
         steps to reduce smog and the
         negative health impacts where
         citizens live, work, learn and
         play," says EPA Regional Ad-
         ministrator Gwen Keyes Flem-
         ing speaking about the 'Stop-
         N-Shop' case in which a two
         year prison sentence was re-
         cently handed down by a  fed-
         eral judge.

Sign advertising an emissions
testing facility.
           U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
       1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20460
Page 2