Georgia Department of Law, from the office of Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General


Two Defendants Receive Prison Time for Emission Fraud

February 24, 2014

On February 20, 2014, Nathaniel Johnson and Daniel Lawson, of Atlanta, and Shelton Ray, of Decatur, Ga., were sentenced by Judge A. Gregory Poole in Cobb County Superior Court after pleading guilty on November 12, 2013. The defendants sold fraudulent motor vehicle emission certificates and test results to motorists whose vehicles would not otherwise pass an emission check.

The activity occurred at emission stations in Cobb and Fulton Counties between January 27, 2009, and March 7, 2012. The stations were actually operated by Nathaniel Johnson but licensed in the names of other individuals.

The defendants would enter vehicle identifying information for one vehicle into the emission analyzer while actually connecting the analyzer to and testing another vehicle which could pass the inspection. They typically charged more for a fraudulent inspection than the amount they could legally charge for a legitimate inspection.

Johnson, who pled guilty to Computer Forgery, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, followed by eight years probation. Lawson, who pled guilty to False Statements, was sentenced to five years probation. Ray, who pled guilty to False Statements, was sentenced to one year imprisonment, followed by four years probation and a $500 fine.

Each defendant cannot own, be employed by, operate or have any financial interest in any emission inspection station. Additionally, they cannot apply for, nor obtain an emission inspector license or an emission inspection station license.

Assistant Attorney General Greg Lohmeier prosecuted the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Michael Derrick of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.