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Press Release

Miami Companies and Owners Convicted of Conspiring to Tamper with Diesel Truck Monitoring Devices Required by the Clean Air Act

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

MIAMI – Defendants Vivian Machado, 62, Eric Flaquer, 39, as well as Miami-based companies Quick Tricks Automotive Performance, Inc., and Kloud9Nine, LLC have pled guilty in federal district court to conspiring to tamper with monitoring devices on diesel vehicles, in violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

The purpose of the CAA, among other things, is “to protect and enhance the quality of the Nation’s air resources so as to promote the public health and welfare and the productive capacity of its population.”  Motor vehicles, including those with heavy duty diesel engines, cause or contribute to air pollution which may endanger public health or welfare and are thus regulated including the requirement that manufacturers design and install emissions control systems to treat exhaust.  Those systems are monitored by an on-board diagnostic system (OBD).  The OBD is software and sensors that monitor emissions-related engine systems and components.  It is a felony to tamper with CAA-required monitoring devices.

According to court records and a Joint Factual Statement filed in Court, between January 2018 and December 2020, defendants Machado, Flaquer, and Quick Tricks were paid approximately $230,830.61 for 1,100 transactions for the sale of “delete tune files” that tamper with or disable the OBDs on heavy-duty diesel motor vehicles that were required under the CAA to have OBD systems to monitor the emissions control systems.  Similarly, between October 2019 and March 2021, Machado, Flaquer, and Kloud9Nine were paid $141,162.70 for an additional 657 transactions.  The defendants would customize the delete tune files based on the vehicle identification number and desired parameters and would conduct active customer service for the automotive businesses.  Knowing the conduct was illegal, the defendants would often warn customers by e-mail not to tell anyone about the purchases and to take steps to avoid detection by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and “stay under the radar.”

The vehicles at issue in this case were driven in the Southern District of Florida and throughout the United States on public roads and highways.  Diesel exhaust contains a mix of acidic and hydrocarbon gases that are harmful to human health.  Excess emissions from illegally tampered vehicles can have important environmental justice implications for overburdened communities near major roads and highways.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams has set a sentencing hearing for all four defendants for April 7, at 3:00 p.m., in federal district court in Miami. Machado and Flaquer face up to five years in prison and a criminal fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense.  The companies face a term of probation up to five years and a criminal fine of up to $500,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense.

Markenzy Lapointe, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and Charles Carfagno, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Criminal Investigation Division, Southeast Area Branch, announced the conviction. 

EPA, Criminal Investigation Division investigated the case.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jodi A. Mazer is prosecuting it.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 22-cr-20516.



Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

Updated February 1, 2023