Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Sell Devices to Cheat Vehicle Emissions Tests
Darren Kattan Designed, Built, and Distributed the Fraudulent Devices
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Darren Kattan 31, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pled guilty today in Federal Court in Syracuse to one felony count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with a violation of 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. Kattan will be sentenced by Senior District Judge Norman A. Mordue on March 16, 2017.
In pleading guilty, Kattan admitted that between 2010 and 2013 he designed, built, and sold “simulator devices” which were programmed to fraudulently by-pass motor vehicle emissions inspection tests. In total, members of the conspiracy distributed one hundred and seventy (170) of the simulator devices throughout the United States. Kattan was arrested by Special Agents of the Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigation Division (“EPA-CID”) during a sting operation in Louisiana after he provided the source codes for his devices in exchange for a $10,000 payment.
The charge to which Kattan pled guilty carries a maximum sentence of up to five (5) years in prison, a term of supervised release of up to three (3) years and a fine of up to $250,000.
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, United States Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Section.