Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


California Auto Dealer Charged with Violating Clean Air Act

Release Date: 03/18/2004
Contact Information:

Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819/

(03/18/04) Claus Graeter of Somis, Calif., operator of GC Motor Corporation in Oxnard, Calif., was arrested on March 5 on charges that he allegedly conspired to defraud the United States by smuggling and using false statements to import goods into the country, and by making false statements under the Clean Air Act. Graeter’s company imported Mercedes Benz Smart Cars and Gelandewagens, BMW Z28s, Range Rovers and other foreign cars. The charges against Graeter allege that these vehicles did not meet American emissions or safety standards, and that the defendant falsely told officials of the EPA, the Customs Service and the National Traffic Safety Administration that the vehicles were for personal temporary use, that they would not be resold and were worth far less than their actual value. The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Area Office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.