Could not authenticate you.followers
A smog check technician accused of working with two other individuals to fraudulently certify thousands of air-polluting vehicles was sentenced on June 22 in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Judge Fred Wapner sentenced Jermaine Elroy Williams, 28, to five years of formal probation, during which time Williams is prohibited from working in the fields of vehicle emissions, registration renewal, new or used vehicle sales, automotive auctions, vehicle rental agencies, dismantling companies, or any employment related to smog certificates. Williams was additionally sentenced to one year in county jail, which will result in no further incarceration because he was given credit for 225 actual days served and 225 days credit for good time/work time. Wapner also ordered the defendant to pay restitution of $1,000.
The defendant and his accomplices were responsible for the issuance of more fraudulent smog certificates than any other group in the state, according to officials of the State of California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR).
Williams was charged with co-defendants, Rodney Joel Johnson, 52, and Darnell Tyrone Usher, 26. The charges stem from incidents at two Los Angeles-area shops on June 30, 2009, and April 6, 2010, during which the defendants issued passing smog check certificates to multiple vehicles that were not present at the location and had never been tested. The men engaged in a practice called “clean piping” that involves the use of one vehicle to certify another.
Williams allegedly allowed his associates to use his access code and license number to illegally access computer systems connected to the database of the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. By state law, only a licensed smog check technician may conduct an inspection, operate the machinery, generate the paperwork and sign the accompanying vehicle inspection report, which is signed under penalty of perjury. Records from the BAR show that Williams’ license number was used to fraudulently certify more than 15,000 vehicles between 2007 and 2010, which could have generated as much as $3 million in earnings for the defendants.
Johnson pleaded no contest on March 24 to five felony counts each of issuing a false certificate and fraudulent computer access, and one felony count of forgery, and was sentenced to 16 months in state prison. Usher entered into a plea agreement and pleaded guilty on March 24 to one felony count of fraudulent computer access, one felony count of issuing a false certificate and one misdemeanor count of battery for pushing a state representative who was investigating the illegal activity. He was sentenced to five years of formal probation and was given credit for 160 days of custody spent on house arrest.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.