A North Carolina truck mechanic was sentenced to a year in prison for selling thousands of devices that allowed truck owners to bypass emissions-control systems and produce hundreds of times more pollution than is legally allowed.
Matthew Sidney Geouge, 35, of Hendersonville, NC, pleaded guilty last year to violating the Clean Air Act and tax evasion. In addition to the prison term, Geouge was also ordered to pay $1.3 million in fines to the EPA, and $1.2 million in back taxes and penalties.
Federal prosecutors say that between 2008 and 2017, Geouge sold around 14,000 kits known as “tuners” or “defeat devices” that helped shut off the emissions systems on mostly diesel-powered pickup trucks.
Some drivers believe the federally mandated control systems, which drastically reduce pollution, inhibit the performance of their trucks.
“[Geouge] tailored software programs for the tuners known as ‘tunes,’ designed to maximize the engine power of particular