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FISCAL YEAR: 2013
1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Ronald Eugene Kinard
W.D.  North Carolina  3:11-CR-340-RJC
2. DEFENDANT: Jack Bard Haney
W.D.  North Carolina  3:11-CR-342-RJC


Kinard was the owner-operator of Autoworks, a local vehicle repairs shop, and Haney was one of his employees. Both were licensed by the state of North Carolina to conduct onboard diagnostic (OBD) inspections to test federally-mandated vehicle emissions. The defendants used surrogate vehicles to falsely pass vehicles that would have failed emissions inspections, an illegal activity known as “clean scanning.”

From about January 2010 through August 2011, Kinard conducted more than 1,180 false vehicle inspections, and Haney conducted more than 100 false inspections. In exchange for the false passing results, the defendants typically charged more than the standard inspection fee, sometimes as high as $100 per vehicle.



October 25, 2011
Kinard was charged with conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act {CAA - 18 U.S.C. 371; 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(2)(A)}.

CITATION: 18 USC 2, 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(2)(A)
October 26, 2011
Haney was changed with conspiracy to violate the CAA and with making false statements, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001.

CITATION: 18 U.S.C. 1001
November 17, 2011
Haney pled guilty to conspiracy to violate the CAA.

Kinard pled guilty to the conspiracy charge.


Press Release
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 7, 2011

TWO CHARLOTTE MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO CLEAN AIR ACT VIOLATIONS

The Defendants Conducted Nearly 1,300 False Vehicle Emission Inspections

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Two Charlotte men pled guilty today to violating the Clean Air Act by conducting false vehicle emission inspections, announced Anne M. Tompkins U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Joining U.S. Attorney Tompkins in making today’s announcement are Special Agent in Charge Maureen O’Mara of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID) of the Atlanta Area Office, and Donnie Varnell, Special Agent in Charge of the Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NC SBI).

In October 2011, two separate criminal bills of information charged Ronald Eugene Kinard, 44, and Jack Bard Haney, 47, both of Charlotte, with one count of conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. Haney was also charged with, and pled guilty to, making false material statements to an EPA criminal investigator during the course of the investigation. According to filed court documents and court proceedings, Kinard is the owner and operator of Autoworks of Charlotte, where Haney worked as an employee. From in or about January 2010 to in or about August 2011, the defendants provided false passing scores for state emissions inspections of vehicles on almost 1,300 occasions, by connecting a different vehicle to the onboard diagnostics system, an activity referred to as “clean scanning.” Court records indicate that when the EPA-CID investigator interviewed Haney, he falsely stated that he had only done clean air scans for friends, and that he had only done 20 clean scans total. According to court documents, investigators found that Haney had done over 100 clean scans.

Both defendants have been released on bond. They each face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the Clean Air Act violation. Haney also faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the false statements charge. Sentencing dates for the defendants have not been set yet. Since April 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina has filed criminal charges against nine individuals for violating the Clean Air Act by conducting false emissions inspections. To date, all nine defendants have pled guilty to the charges.

The investigation is being handled by the EPA-CID, the SBI, and the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Licence and Theft Bureau. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Kaufman.

November 14, 2012
Haney was sentenced to 6 months incarceration and 12 months probation.

November 26, 2012
Kinard was sentenced to 6 months incarceration, 24 months probation and ordered to pay a $10,000 federal fine.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 26, 2012
Western District of North Carolina

Two Charlotte Men Sentenced To Prison For Conducting Illegal Vehicle Inspections

Defendants Falsely Passed More Than 1,000 Vehicles During “Clean Scan” Conspiracy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Two Charlotte men have been sentenced for conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act by conducting false vehicle emission inspections, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Special Agent in Charge Maureen O’Mara of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID), Atlanta Area Office; Greg McLeod, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NC SBI); and Jack D. Coltrane Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft Bureau (NCDMV L&T).

U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. sentenced today Ronald Eugene Kinard, 46, of Charlotte, to six months in prison and two years of supervised release, during which he will serve an additional six months of home detention. Kinard was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and to perform 50 hours of community service. Kinard’s co-conspirator, Jack Bard Haney, 48, also of Charlotte, was previously sentenced on November 14, 2012, by Chief U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. to serve six months in prison and one year of supervised release, during which he will serve an additional 6 months of home detention. Both defendants are also prohibited from conducting vehicle inspections in the future.

According to filed documents and related court proceedings, at the time of their criminal conduct, Kinard was the owner-operator of Autoworks, a local vehicle repairs shop, and Haney was one of his employees. Both were licensed by the state of North Carolina to conduct onboard diagnostic (OBD) inspections to test federally-mandated vehicle emissions. Court records show that the defendants used surrogate vehicles to falsely pass vehicles that would have failed emissions inspections, an illegal activity known as “clean scanning.” Court documents indicate that from about January 2010 through August 2011, Kinard conducted more than 1,180 false vehicle inspections, and Haney conducted more than 100 false inspections. In exchange for the false passing results, the defendants typically charged more than the standard inspection fee, sometimes as high as $100 per vehicle.

The Clean Air Act requires vehicle emission inspections in geographic regions that exceed national ambient air quality standards. According to the EPA, the Charlotte metropolitan area exceeds the 8-hour standard set for Ozone, a potent irritant that can cause lung damage and other types of respiratory problems.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the EPA’s criminal investigation division, NC SBI’s Diversion and Environmental Crimes Unit, and NC DMV’s License and Theft Bureau, with assistance by the North Carolina Division of Air Quality, Mobile Sources Compliance Branch. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Steven R. Kaufman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.


STATUTE:
  • Clean Air Act (CAA)
  • Title 18 U.S. Criminal Code (TITLE 18)

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