The Cobb County Grand Jury indicted Arthur Alexander, Nathaniel Johnson, Tina Johnson, Daniel Lawson and Shontana Tellis, all of Atlanta; Derek Holman and Shelton Ray of Decatur; and Latasha Rose of Stockbridge.
They are all wanted for a scheme involving fake emissions tests, one of which was conducted at J’s Complete Auto Repair off Austell Road in Marietta, and were all charged Thursday with one count each of racketeering.
According to a release from the Georgia Attorney General’s Office, they are accused of conspiring to sell fake emission certificates and test results to drivers whose cars would not otherwise pass an emissions test between Jan. 27, 2009, and March 7, 2012.
The stations were actually operated by Nathaniel Johnson but licensed in the names of other people.
The suspects are accused of entering car identifying information for one car into the emission analyzer while actually connecting the analyzer to another car that could pass the inspection.
They also typically charged more for a fake inspection than the amount they could legally charge for a legitimate inspection.
Georgia law limits the cost of the test to no more than $25. In one case, they allegedly charged a driver $225 to conduct the test.
The incident in Marietta reportedly began around Oct. 31, 2011, according to the indictment.
Nathaniel Johnson provided an attendant at J’s Complete Auto Repair with a completed emissions certification application for an inspection license so that the attendant could sign as the applicant.
The attendant, who is not listed as a defendant in this case, was then asked by Johnson to add Rose as a certified emission inspector.
She is accused of conducting five fake inspections and passing drivers’ cars on March 7, 2012.
A cost of these inspections is not listed in the indictment.
Lauren Kane with the state office said it’s too early to say when they will go to trial.
Racketeering is punishable by five to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000, or three times the amount of any 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.