: ‘Polluting the air we breathe’: Mechanic sentenced for selling thousands of devices that allowed trucks to bypass emission controls.

by | Jun 27, 2022 | Stock Market

A North Carolina truck mechanic was sentenced to a year in prison for selling thousands of devices that allowed truck owners to bypass emission control systems and produce hundreds of times more pollution than is legally allowed. Matthew Sidney Geouge, 35, of Hendersonville, N. C., pleaded guilty last year to violating the Clean Air Act and tax evasion. In addition to the prison term, Geouge was also ordered to pay $1.3 million in fines to the EPA, and $1.2 million in back taxes and penalties.

Federal prosecutors say that between 2008 and 2017, Geouge sold around 14,000 kits known as “tuners” or “defeat devices” that helped shut off the emission systems on mostly diesel-powered pickup trucks.  Some drivers believe the federally-mandated emission control systems, which drastically reduce pollution, inhibit the performance of their trucks.  “[Geouge] tailored software programs for the tuners known as ‘tunes,’ designed to maximize the engine power of particular vehicles resulting in significant increases in harmful air emissions,” according to federal prosecutors in North Carolina. In all, prosecutors say Geouge took in around $10 million in sales of the devices and the customized encryption software that helped them work without triggering the vehic …

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