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Complaint: Customers Would Ask For 'Joe The Fish' To Get Passing Inspection

BOSTON (WBZ) ― The Attorney General is cracking down on motor vehicle inspection stations across the state, including 12 inspectors, for allegedly issues hundreds of inspection stickers to vehicles that did not pass regulations.

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office said 12 inspectors at seven stations are accused of issuing a passing sticker to hundreds of vehicles that didn't undergo inspections in a practice known as "clean scanning."

According to one complaint filed in Suffolk Superior Court Thursday, Dorchester Auto Service, Inc., emissions inspector George C. Nelson would issue passing stickers to customers who wanted to avoid expensive repairs for a vehicle that had already failed an on-board diagnostic (OBD) emissions test.

According to the complaint, customers would get a passing inspection at Dorchester Auto Service, Inc., by asking for "Joe the Fish." The complaint also says Nelson admitted to MassDEP and the RMV during a site visit that he was "Joe the Fish."

A lawsuit was also filed against the Hillside Service Center in Somerville alleging that since December of 2006, the station has been issuing inspection stickers to vehicles that didn't pass emissions tests. According to the complaint, the station's owner, Robert W. Boudreau II, and his employee, Robert J. Greenwood, conducted at least 208 fraudulent inspections.

Boudreau denies the accusations, saying while he is certified, he doesn't conduct inspections at his station.

"The attorney made a comment to me that I'm responsible because it's my shop," Boudreau told WBZ. "Well I can't be here 24/7. How are you going to know something like that is going on?"

Five other stations are being investigated for allegedly conducting "clean scans."

Those stations include:

  • Aoude Gulf Co. of Framingham and its inspector Yacoub Aoude: accused of conducting 38 fraudulent inspections
  • Framingham Petroleum & Auto Center, LLC (aka Metrowest Petroleum) and its inspector Luis Marales: accused of conducting 25 fraudulent inspections
  • Route 114 Gulf, Inc. of Lawrence and its inspector Juan Munoz: accused of conducting 15 fraudulent inspections
  • Leo and Sons Auto Repair of Lawrence and its inspectors Matthew LaMontagne, Leo LaMontagne and Edwin Dzioba: accused of conducting 12 fraudulent inspections
  • Hi-Tech Auto Service, Inc. of Everett and its inspectors Phu Vu, Linh Bui, and Vinh Nguyen: accused of conducting 15 fraudulent inspections

    Coakley's Office explained that issuing stickers to vehicles that did not pass emissions and safety tests poses a danger to public safety, especially because of the vehicles that needed repairs but were issued inspection stickers. "Clean scanning" is also in violation of the Massachusetts Clean Air Act and the Massachusetts Regulation of Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.
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