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FISCAL YEAR: 2013
1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Huy Ngoc Nguyen
N.D.  Texas  3-11CR-270-M
2. DEFENDANT: Bich Dong Ng
N.D.  Texas  3-11CR-270-M
3. DEFENDANT: Danh Cong Tran
N.D.  Texas  3-11CR-270-M
4. DEFENDANT: Ngan Tien Tran
N.D.  Texas  3-11CR-270-M
5. DEFENDANT: Nghi Cong Tran
N.D.  Texas  3-11CR-270-M
6. DEFENDANT: Nghiem Van Tran
N.D.  Texas  3-11CR-270-M


EPA-CID received information regarding Mike's Auto Care, a state vehicle inspection station, generating 300 to 400 fraudulent vehicle emissions tests per month. Mike's Auto Care is one of two state vehicle inspection stations in Arlington, Texas, which is owned and oeprated by the same person, known to be falsifying emissions tests.

Furthermore, information showed that funds from the fraudulent emissions tests were being paid to Up-Land Investments, a company owned by the same subjects that owned the inspection stations.

Despite state criminal convictions for tampering with government records, the defendants continued to falsify vehicle emissions tests at their inspection stations.

Furthermore, information showed that funds from the fraudulent emissions tests were being paid to Up-Land Investments, a company owned by the same subjects that owned the inspection stations.

Despite state criminal convictions for tampering with government records, the defendants continued to falsify vehicle emissions tests at their inspection stations.



September 20, 2011
The defendants were charged with violating the CAA {42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(2)(A) - knowingly makes any false material statement, representation or certification in, or omits material information from, or knowingly alters, conceals, or fails to file or maintain any notice, application.} and conspiracy, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 371.

CITATION: 18 USC 2, 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(2)(A)
February 29, 2012
Tran pled guilty to one count of making false statements, a violation of 42 U.S.C. 7413(C)(2)(A).

CITATION: 33 USC 1319
August 8, 2012
Nghiem Van Tran pled guilty to the charges.

CITATION: 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(2)(A)
August 10, 2012
Ngan Tien Tran pled guilty to one count CAA False Statement, and was sentenced to 12 months and one day incarceration and 12 months probation.


United States Attorney
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 2012

Emissions Inspectors at Vehicle Inspection Stations in Arlington, Texas, Admit Falsifying Texas State Emissions Test Results

DALLAS — Six individuals have pleaded guilty in federal court to their respective roles in falsifying Texas state emissions tests at two state-certified inspections stations in Arlington, Texas, announced U..S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

The Clean Air Act authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAAQS) to protect the public health and welfare and to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants. Areas that exceed the NAAQSS are known as “nonattainment areas.”” Depending on the amount of pollution that exceeds the standards, areas are classified as marginal, moderate, serious, severe or extreme. The North Texas Region that includes Dallas and Tarrant counties, is classified as a “serious” nonattainment area by the EPA. Vehicles are required to pass annual inspection s to ensure that their emissions do not exceed limits for hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide and other compounds.

Nghiem Van Tran, 54, and Nghi Cong Tran, 32, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. If the Court accepts their pleas, in accordance with the terms of their plea agreements, Nghiem Van Tran, who entered his guilty plea this week, and Nghi Cong Tran each face a 16-mmonth sentence and a $250,000 fine.

Dahn Cong Tran, 26, Ngan Tien Tran, 29, Bich Dong Ngo, 226, and Huy Ngoc Nguyen, 26, each pleaded guilty to one count of making a Clean Air Act false statement. The false statement convictions carry a maximum statutory sentence of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine. All of the defendants are residents of Arlington, Texas, and remain on bond pending sentencing hearings beginning later this month.

According to documents filed in the case, the inspection stations, Mike’s Autocare, located on North Mesquite Street in Arlington and Tommy Tech, located on Peach Street in Arlington, performed approximately 7,656 fraudulent emissions tests between August 2009 and March 2011. The defendants circumvented the required emissions testing procedures by substituting vehicles that would pass the emissions test in place of vehicles that had previously failed or showed equipment malfunctions. In most instances, the vehicle needing an emissions test was not present at Mike’s or Tommy Tech when the emissions tests were conducted, and the defendants who conducted the fraudulent tests received the necessary identifying vehicle information from Nghiem Van Tran and Nghi Cong Tran via a text message or a handwritten slip of paper. The defendants generated fraudulent emissions certificates and transmitted fraudulent testing results to the Texas Information Management System (TIMS) database managed by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The defendants demanded up to $80 for each fraudulent test, well above the state-mandated maximum charge of $39.75. Proceeds from the fraudulent emissions tests were deposited into a bank account for “Upland Investment,” which was controlled by Nghiem Van Tran.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division; the Texas Department of Public Safety; and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Civil Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen P. Fahey is in charge of the prosecution.

September 13, 2012
Nguyen pled guilty and was sentenced to 12 months probation.

Tran was sentenced to 12 months and one day incarceration and one year supervised probation.

No fines were imposed.

September 21, 2012
Ng pled guilty and was sentenced to 12 months probation.

December 13, 2012
Nghi Cong Tran pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act.

Nghi Cong Tran was sentenced to 15 months incarceration. No fine was imposed.

March 18, 2013
Nghiem Van Tran was sentenced to 15 months incarceration and ordered to pay a $5,000 federal fine.

STATUTE:
  • Clean Air Act (CAA)

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