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September 6, 2013

2 men plead guilty in Ga. car emissions scheme

ATLANTA —

Federal prosecutors in Atlanta say two men have pleaded guilty in connection with a scheme that issued over 4,000 emission certificates for cars that would have failed inspections for payments totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said Friday that Jerome Clarence Barnes, Jr. of Lithia Springs orchestrated the scheme, which not only broke the law but posed a threat to air quality and public health.

Prosecutors say Barnes pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud and faces a maximum of five years in prison at sentencing Nov. 22.

Co-defendant Jared F. Walker pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Clean Air Act, which carries a maximum of two years in prison. Prosecutors say both face a fine up to $250,000.

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