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Gastonia man sentenced for fake emissions test

A Gastonia man has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for selling a fake vehicle emissions certificate to undercover officers, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney also sentenced Mohammed Hafeez Awan, 52, to three years of supervised release, including six months of home confinement, community service and fined him $1,000.

Awan is the former owner of Prestige Car Care in Charlotte, U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said in a release. State investigators found that the shop was conducting fake emissions inspections in 2005 by hooking test equipment to a surrogate vehicle, a practice called “clean scanning.” Its inspection license was suspended for 11 years.

Whitney heard evidence Wednesday that Awan conspired with Jassim Juburi, who worked at a second Charlotte inspection station, to continue the practice.

Undercover officers said they paid Awan $150 in 2011 for an inspection certificate, produced by Juburi, without producing a vehicle to be inspected. Juburi was earlier sentenced to 18 months in prison for doing more than 530 clean scans.

Awan pleaded guilty in March 2012 to one count of conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act.

Henderson: 704-358-5051; Twitter: @bhender
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