A truck mechanic from North Carolina was sentenced for selling thousands of devices that allow truck owners to bypass emission controls.
Matthew Sidney Geouge pled guilty last year to violating the Clean Air Act and tax evasion. The 35-year-old has been sentenced to a year in prison for selling the devices that bypass emission control systems and produce hundreds of times more pollution than standard regulations.
Source: Driven By Gears/Youtube
Geouge found Spartan Diesel Technologies in 2008, where he sold the emissions hut off devices, which he programmed himself, according to court records.
Geouge was ordered to pay $1.3 million in fines to the EPA and $1.2 million in back taxes and penalties. According to federal prosecutors, between 2008 and 2017, the man allegedly sold around 14,000 of these devices to dodge emission systems. Most of them were used on diesel-powered pickup trucks. Prosecutors say that Geouge racked in around $10 million in sales in those nine years.
“[Geouge] tailored software programs for the tuners known as ‘tunes,’ designed to maximize the engine power of particular vehicles resulting in significant increases in harmful air emissions,” said federal prosecutors in North Carolina.
Back in 2015, the EPA issued a citation and ordered Geouge to stop selling the devices, but the warning was ignored. Finally, in 2017, the EPA fined Geouge $4 million. He then sold Spartan Diesel Technologies to another company, which continued to use his software.
Three others associated with Geouge pled guilty and have been sentenced to three years of probation and six months of house arrest. In addition to his violations, Geouge also racked in hefty fines after he was found to not have filed taxes between 2015 and 2019 and illegally used his business to cover personal expenses.
Many think that the federally mandated emission control systems hinder the performance of the truck. However, emissions from cars are extremely harmful to the environment, and there is a reason that cars need to pass smog tests. According to the EPA, they estimate there are as many as 550,000 medium trucks on the roads in the United States that have had their emission controls meddled. They say that the pollution caused by these half a million trucks is equivalent to the emissions produced by 9 million trucks without these tampering devices.
- New Zealand Announces Plan to Charge Farmers for Emissions From Their Livestock
- Adding Plant-Based Meals Could Save American Workplaces 200,000 Miles Worth of Emissions, Says New Research
- New SEC Regulations Will Force Companies to Report Emissions
- Biden ReinstatCalifornia’sa’s Ability to Set Limits on Climate-Warming Emissions on Cars
- How Reducing Light Pollution Can Down Carbon Emissions and Protect Biodiversity
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!