Seven arrested for knowingly submitting false records to DEQ - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Seven arrested for knowingly submitting false records to DEQ

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Seven people were arrested today for knowingly filing or maintaining false public records with the DEQ in connection with the vehicle emissions program.

During the past two years, investigators allege that employees working for the three businesses participated in various schemes to pass vehicles for emissions testing: Terry's Exxon in Gonzales, Mudiea's Car Care in Baton Rouge, and Franklin's Auto in Baton Rouge.

One of the schemes involved manually changing vehicle weights in the computer system so that their weights were listed at more than 10,000 pounds. Vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds are exempt from emissions testing requirements.

Another scheme involved using data from a vehicle that was known to pass the emissions test and then manually switching the vehicle identification information with the vehicle that failed the emissions test. Under each scheme, the false information was then submitted electronically to DEQ.

The seven individuals who have been arrested and the counts against them are:

  • Yolande Ledet, 44, (Terry's Exxon), arrested on March 19, Prairieville, 65 counts of filing a false public document.
  • Chad Ledet, 41, (Terry's Exxon), arrested on March 19, Prairieville, 29 counts of filing a false public document.
  • Duc "Michael" Nguyen, 24, (Mudiea's Car Care), arrested on March 24, Baton Rouge, 28 counts of filing a false public document.
  • Canh Nguyen, 48, (Mudiea's Car Care), arrested on March 24, Baton Rouge, nine counts of filing a false public document.
  • Haytham Amous, 48, (Mudiea's Car Care), arrested on March 20, Baton Rouge, five counts of filing a false public document.
  • Jerry Franklin, 34, (Franklin's Auto), arrested on March 24, 2014, Baton Rouge, 38 counts of filing a false public document.
  • Michael Edwards, 38, (Franklin's Auto), arrested on March 24, Baton Rouge, 24 counts of filing a false public document.

Investigators have obtained an arrest warrant for Hoc D. Nguyen, Baton Rouge for 69 counts of filing false public documents. Investigators learned that Hoc D. Nguyen is out of the country. He is expected to return in April and will be met by investigators.

If convicted of the crime of knowingly filing or maintaining a false public record to DEQ, each of the accused face possible imprisonment for not more than five years with or without hard labor, or a fine of not more than $5,000, or both for each count.

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