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Press Release

Two Louisiana Men Sentenced for Conspiracy to Sell Devices to Cheat Vehicle Emissions Tests

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Darren Kattan and Charles Bayer Designed, Manufactured, and Distributed the Fraudulent Devices


SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Charles Edward Bayer, Jr., 33, and Darren Kattan, 31, of Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were sentenced today in United States District Court in Syracuse for conspiring to commit mail fraud and violate the Clean Air Act by developing and selling simulator devices programmed to bypass motor vehicle emissions inspections tests, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Vernesa Jones-Allen, Special Agent in Charge, United States Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigation Division (“EPA-CID”), New York Area Office. Bayer and Kattan were each sentenced to three years of Probation, and each of them will spend the first four months of Probation on house arrest. In addition, Bayer was ordered to pay a fine of $5,000, and Kattan was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000.

In pleading guilty, Darren Kattan admitted that between 2010 and 2013 he designed, built, and sold motor vehicle simulator devices that allowed vehicles to bypass state motor vehicle emissions inspections tests. Kattan admitted that, with other co-conspirators (including Bayer), he helped create and distribute at least 170 simulator devices throughout the country. Kattan was arrested by Special Agents of the Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigation Division (“EPA-CID”) in an undercover sting operation in Louisiana after Kattan turned over the source codes for his devices in exchange for a $10,000 payment.

As part of his guilty plea, Charles Edward Bayer admitted that between 2011 and 2013 he purchased Kattan’s remaining inventory of simulator devices and software and continued to sell and manufacture these devices knowing that they were used to illegally bypass motor vehicle inspections.

This case was investigated by EPA-CID and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Law Enforcement, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael F. Perry and Senior Trial Attorney Todd Gleason, United States Department of Justice, Environmental and Natural Resources Division.

Updated June 13, 2017