Gastonia man sentenced for producing fake emissions certificates - WRBL

Gastonia man sentenced for producing fake emissions certificates

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A Gastonia man was sentenced late Wednesday  to serve six months in prison for producing a fraudulent vehicle emissions certificate to undercover agents, according to Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Chief U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney also sentenced Mohammed Hafeez Awan, 52, of Gastonia, to three years of supervised release, six months of which Awan will spend in home confinement. Awan was also ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and to a pay a $1,000 fine, the government said.

Awan is the former owner of Prestige Car Care, an automobile repair shop and state licensed vehicle emissions station in Charlotte. In 2005, as a result of a state investigation into illegal emissions inspections, the government determined that Awan and his employees conducted the fraudulent inspections, also called "clean scanning," by connecting Prestige's emission testing equipment into a designated surrogate vehicle that would pass the state's emission testing requirements.

As a result of that investigation, the NC DMV License & Theft Bureau suspended Prestige's safety/emissions inspection license for a period of 11 years.

According to the sentencing hearing, in September 2011, while Awan's shop was no longer able to conduct emissions inspections, Awan conspired with Jassim Juburi, a former employee of Central Auto Inspection & Repair in Charlotte to continue this practice. According to court documents, undercover agents paid Awan $150 in exchange for a fraudulent vehicle emissions certificate and without ever producing a vehicle to be inspected. The fraudulent emissions test and certificate were generated by Juburi, a former employee of Central Auto Inspection & Repair in Charlotte. Juburi was previously sentenced to an 18-month prison term for conducting more than 530 illegal "clean scan" inspections.

In March 2012, Awan pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act by conducting false vehicle emissions inspections. Awan was ordered to self-report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.


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