Eight New York City motor vehicle inspectors have been arrested for allegedly faking more than 13,000 inspection certificates for vehicles that weren't actually tested, officials said Thursday.
The inspectors allegedly performed “clean scans” where they connected a DMV computer to a second vehicle and then used the second vehicle’s information to pass the safety and emissions test for the uninspected vehicle.
“These individuals were trusted to perform state-required inspections specifically aimed at keeping unsafe cars off the road," Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a statement. "Instead of performing safety inspections, they took advantage of their expertise and cheated the system.”
Every vehicle registered with New York State is required to be inspected every year to check for safety and satisfactory emissions compliance.
An undercover investigator visited seven of the busiest DMV stations in New York City between December 2012 and February 2013. Employees at several stations issued passing inspection certificates to an undercover vehicle that was rigged to fail.
Inspectors at the DMV stations also allegedly charged significantly higher fees for inspections. Stations were charging up to $150, which is four times the legal amount of $37.
The defendants were all charged with second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and some faced additional charges.
If convicted, the inspectors can face up to seven years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.