14 Emission Testing Employees Indicted for Fraud

(Phoenix, Ariz. – April 6, 2004)  Attorney General Terry Goddard announced the indictment of 14 former emission testing employees for fraudulent schemes and practices and forgery.  Ruben Anselmo, Fabian E. Quintana, Victor Romo, Ramiro B. Serrano, Zadyamil Serrano, David C. Valencia, and Vincent Villalobos.  Seven defendants were served with court summons detailing the charges.  There are seven remaining indictments to be served. 

These indictments follow an undercover investigation conducted jointly by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and Gordon Darby, Inc., the state contractor that operates the vehicle emissions testing stations for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. The ADEQ also cooperated in this investigation. 

The investigation revealed that these employees of the Phoenix emissions station located at 4949 E. Madison Street were creating false vehicle inspection reports for automobiles that would not pass the emissions test.  The indictment alleges the employees tampered with the testing equipment and entered false information into computer equipment at the station.  The illegal activity occurred between October, 2002 and March, 2003.  Gordon Darby terminated the 14 employees indicted. 

Each defendant was charged with one count of fraudulent schemes and practices and various counts of forgery.  If convicted the maximum penalty for forgery is 3.75 years and the maximum penalty for fraudulent schemes is 2.5 years.  Both charges are probation eligible. 

“These indictments will help clean up our air by preventing cars that don’t pass emissions from operating without repair,” Goddard said.  “They also send a strong message that the Attorney General’s Office, the ADEQ and Gordon Darby will not tolerate this type of corruption.”   

The cooperative efforts of the Attorney General’s Office, the Gordon Darby management and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality resulted in eliminating fraudulent activity that was undermining the program that is designed to improve the air quality in the State.