Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Sell Devices to Cheat Vehicle Emissions Tests
Charles Bayer Manufactured and Sold the Fraudulent Devices
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Charles Edward Bayer, Jr. (31), of Lafayette, Louisiana, pled guilty in federal court today in Syracuse to one felony count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and violate the Clean Air Act, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, and Vernesa Jones-Allen, Special Agent in Charge, EPA-CID, New York Area Office.
In pleading guilty, Bayer admitted that between 2011 and 2013 he participated in a conspiracy to design, manufacture, and sell motor vehicle simulator devices which were designed and programmed to allow vehicles to by-pass motor vehicle emissions inspections tests in a fraudulent manner. Bayer admitted that when one of his co-conspirators believed the EPA had become aware of the illegal sales of these devices, he (Bayer) purchased the remaining inventory as well as the source codes, and a customer list. Thereafter Bayer continued to sell and manufacture these devices. Ultimately, Bayer and his co-conspirators sold at least 170 such devices throughout the country. In pleading guilty, Bayer admitted that he was a leader in the conspiracy, which involved at least five others. Bayer also admitted that he understood his customers were using the devices to fraudulently bypass motor vehicle inspections and that he added a disclaimer to the instructions that the devices were for “development/off road use only” to make the devices appear legitimate.
The charge to which Bayer pled guilty carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors. Bayer will be sentenced by Senior District Judge Norman A. Mordue on May 11, 2017.
This case is being investigated by EPA-CID, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael F. Perry and Senior Trial Attorney Todd Gleason.