Two motor vehicle emissions inspectors and a service station in Lynn have agreed to pay up to $70,000 to settle allegations they allegedly issued fraudulent motor vehicle inspection stickers to cars with failed emissions control systems at a service station in Lynn, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Tuesday.
According to the consent judgment, entered on Monday in Suffolk Superior Court, Nasir Haider of Framingham and Zahid Haider of Framingham conducted 41 fraudulent inspections at Haider Five Enterprises, Inc. service station between March 2012 and August 2012.
“As licensed motor vehicle inspectors, the defendants knew that forging passing emissions inspection stickers was both harmful to the environment and unfair to the public and other inspection stations that comply with the law,” AG Healey said. “Working with DEP and the RMV, we were able to locate the source of these fraudulent motor vehicle inspection stickers and take action to put a stop to these illegal practices.”
The complaint, filed in January, alleges the defendants altered failing inspection stickers to resemble passing inspection stickers and used those altered stickers to falsely represent that vehicles with failed emissions control systems had passed. Additionally, according to the complaint, the defendants then attempted to tamper with the sticker barcodes to conceal the source of the fraudulent sticker.
“MassDEP and the RMV are working together to identify ‘phony sticker’ cases,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “This is another case that shows in the long run, it costs considerably less to play by the rules, and it also levels the playing field for the vast majority of shops that comply with the law.”
“Efforts to circumvent the requirements of the Massachusetts Vehicle Check Program have a negative impact on public health and safety,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin C. Deveney. “The Registry thanks its partners at DEP and Attorney General Healey’s team for bringing this case to a conclusion and raising public awareness of the consequences of this type of fraud.”
The issuance of fraudulent motor vehicle inspection stickers violates the emissions inspections regulations and the Massachusetts Clean Air Act, as well as the Massachusetts Regulation of Business Practices Consumer Protection Act. Under today’s settlement, both inspectors and the station must pay up to $70,000 in civil penalties. Additionally, the defendants are prohibited from working as motor vehicle emissions and safety inspectors for five years. Up to $10,000 in penalties will be waived after five years if they comply with the judgment.
Nasir Haider is the former owner of Haider Five Enterprises, Inc. From the time period of March 2012 to August 2012 Nasir Haider and his brother Zahid Haider were licensed motor vehicle inspectors at Haider Five Enterprises, Inc. After discovery of the forged stickers in 2012, the RMV permanently revoked the inspector licenses of both Nasir Haider and Zahid Haider, and suspended the station license for six months.
The AG’s Office brought the action on behalf of the MassDEP and the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program, administered jointly by the MassDEP and the RMV, is the Commonwealth’s primary tool for combating the emission of excess pollution from motor vehicles. Motor vehicles are a significant source of pollutants that are known to have especially adverse health effects on children, the elderly, and persons already suffering from respiratory ailments.
Consumers who want to find out more about the program can call the toll-free Massachusetts Vehicle Check Help Desk (866-941-6277) or visit the Massachusetts Vehicle Check website at http://www.mass.gov/vehiclecheck.
The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Peter Downing of AG Healey’s Environmental Protection Division, with assistance from MassDEP Senior Counsel Jennifer Davis, along with Stephen Spencer and Rich Tomczyk of MassDEP’s Environmental Strike Force, and Craig Woleader and John Flemmi of MassDEP’s Enhanced Emissions and Safety Test Program.