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FISCAL YEAR: 2011
1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Joseph DeMatteo
D.  Nevada  2:10-CR-004-ECR-RJJ
DeMatteo, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fugitive, was one of 10 Nevada-certified emissions testers indicted by a federal grand jury on one felony count for falsifying vehicle emissions test reports in Las Vegas between Nov. 2007 and May 2009. It is a crime to knowingly alter or conceal any record or other document required to be maintained by the Clean Air Act.

Although the other nine defendants were promptly located and charged, DeMatteo failed to surrender to federal law enforcement authorities. Shortly after the indictments were released, DeMatteo was placed on the EPA fugitive list. DeMatteo was arrested in Las Vegas on Jun. 8, 2010 by special agents after EPA received a tip on his whereabouts.

The defendants engaged in a practice known as “clean scanning” vehicles. The identification number of a vehicle that cannot pass the emissions test—or is not even present for testing—is entered into the computer system, but a different car that can pass the emissions test is actually tested. The data is then recorded on the vehicle inspection report so that the initial car fraudulently "passed" the test. The cost of getting the fraudulent report was anywhere from $10 to $100 more than the usual emissions testing fee.

Las Vegas is required to perform emissions testing because currently it violates ozone and carbon monoxide standards. Ozone is linked to a number of serious health problems, including causing asthma attacks and increasing the risk of premature death in people with heart or lung disease. Carbon monoxide can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body’s organs.

January 6, 2010
DeMatteo was indicted on 1 count of violating the CAA {42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(2)(A) - knowingly makes any false material statement...}.
CITATION: 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(2)(A)
May 19, 2010
DeMatteo was added to the EPA Fugitive site.
June 8, 2010
DeMatteo was arrested by EPA-CID Special Agents.
October 14, 2010
DeMatteo pled guilty to the CAA violation.
February 28, 2011
DeMatteo was sentenced to 5 months home detention, 36 months probation and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.

Read more in the EPA Press Release.

STATUTE:
  • Clean Air Act (CAA)

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