Business Owner Admits to Registering Vehicles Without Required Emissions Testing

PHOENIX – The owner of an Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division Authorized Third Party title and registration company recently admitted in court to inputting false information to bypass emissions testing for customers.

Sandra Steele was the owner of Desert Title Service, a third-party company authorized by ADOT to conduct title and registration transactions. Investigators say between June 2012 and August 2015, Steele issued vehicle registrations for 30 different trucks belonging to a Tempe company without the proper emissions testing. Additionally, evidence revealed Steele had issued registrations for several private citizens, without proper emissions testing.

On Tuesday morning, Steele pled guilty to one count of Forgery and to one count of Fraudulent Schemes and Practices. As part of the settlement, Steele was required to sell her business and pay a $5,000 fine to ADOT.

“Everyone is expected to play by the rules, especially individuals entrusted to provide a service on behalf of the government,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “There has to be consequences if you violate the public’s trust or cheat the system.”

 “The Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division is pleased that justice has been served in this case,” said MVD Director Eric Jorgensen. “Arizona taxpayers expect quality service not only from government agencies, but also the contractors who are equally responsible for maintaining the highest standards of integrity and professionalism. This court action sends the message that compromising those standards has serious consequences.”