8 Indicted in Cobb Vehicle Emissions Scheme
In one case, the suspects allegedly charged a driver $225 to conduct the test. Georgia law limits the cost of the test to no more than $25.
A Cobb County Grand Jury on Thursday indicted eight people who authorities said conspired to sell fraudulent motor vehicle emission certificates and test results to motorists whose vehicles would not pass a legitimate emissions check.
Arthur Alexander, Derek Holman, Nathaniel Johnson, Tina Johnson, Daniel Lawson, Shelton Ray, Latasha Rose, and Shontana Tellis were charged with one count each of racketeering.
According to the indictment, the suspects allegedly entered information for one vehicle into the emission analyzer while actually connecting the analyzer to another vehicle that could pass the inspection. The costs of the fradulent inspections were steep. In one case, the suspects allegedly charged a driver $225 to conduct the test, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.
Georgia law limits the cost of the test to no more than $25.
The alleged activity occurred at emission stations in Cobb and Fulton counties between Jan. 27, 2009, and March 7, 2012, according to a news release from the Georgia Attorney General's Office. All of the stations were operated by Nathaniel Johnson, but licensed in the names of other individuals, according to the news release.
The MDJ reported that a fake emissions test was conducted at J's Mobile Tire and Auto Repair Service in Marietta.
Racketeering is punishable by five to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000, or three times the amount of any value gained by the racketeering.
Assistant Attorney General Greg Lohmeier is prosecuting the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Michael Derrick of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.