On Thursday, March 7, a Cobb County Grand Jury indicted Arthur Alexander, Derek Holman, Nathaniel Johnson, Tina Johnson, Daniel Lawson, Shelton Ray, Latasha Rose, and Shontana Tellis, charging each with one count of Racketeering (O.C.G.A. §16-14-4(c)). The indictment charges that they conspired to sell fraudulent motor vehicle emission certificates and test results to motorists whose vehicles would not otherwise pass an emissions check.
The indictment provides that the defendants carried out the racketeering activity at emission stations in Cobb and Fulton Counties between January 27, 2009, and March 7, 2012. The stations were actually operated by Nathaniel Johnson but licensed in the names of other individuals.
According to the indictment, the defendants created a scheme in which they would enter vehicle identifying information for one vehicle into the emission analyzer while actually connecting the analyzer to and testing another vehicle which could pass the inspection. They typically charged more for a fraudulent inspection than the amount they could legally charge for a legitimate inspection.
Racketeering is punishable by five to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000.00, or three times the amount of any pecuniary value gained by the defendants from the racketeering.
Assistant Attorney General Greg Lohmeier is prosecuting the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Michael Derrick of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Members of the public should keep in mind that indictments contain only allegations against the individual(s) against whom the indictment is sought. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and it will be the government’s burden at trial to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the allegations contained in the indictment.