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Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00

MA Father and Son Indicted in Counterfeit Motor Vehicle Inspection Sticker Scheme

A father and son have been indicted in connection with running a counterfeit motor vehicle inspection sticker scheme out of their Dorchester, MA body shop, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on September 30.

Jose Sostre, age 61, of Avon, and his son, Tommy Sostre, age 28, of Brockton, were arraigned on September 29 by a Suffolk County Grand Jury.

Jose Sostre was accused of Counterfeiting Motor Vehicle Inspection Stickers (4 counts), Uttering or Publishing as True Counterfeit Motor Vehicle Inspection Stickers (4 counts), Conspiracy to Counterfeit Motor Vehicle Inspection Stickers, Conspiracy to Utter or Publishing as True Counterfeit Inspection Stickers, and Possession of a Firearm without an Firearms Identification (FID) Card.

Tommy Sostre was indicted on charges of Counterfeiting Motor Vehicle Inspection Stickers (20 counts), Uttering or Publishing as True Counterfeit Motor Vehicle Inspection Stickers (20 counts), Conspiracy to Counterfeit Motor Vehicle Inspection Stickers, and Conspiracy to Utter or Publishing as True Counterfeit Inspection Stickers.

Both defendants were arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on October 20.

“We allege that these defendants created and issued counterfeit inspection stickers to vehicles that otherwise would not pass safety or emissions inspections, violating laws intended to keep our roads safe and our air clean,” AG Coakley said.

“This was an egregious phony sticker scam developed and painstakingly investigated by working collaboratively with our sister agencies and our law enforcement partners,” said MassDEP Commissioner David Cash. “Together we are able to leverage enforcement resources, hone in on suspected fraud and ferret out perpetrators so that consumers are protected and everyone plays on a level playing field.” 

In the spring of 2013, the AG’s Office began an investigation after the matter was initially investigated and referred by MassDEP and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).

Between August 2013 and October 2013, Jose and Tommy Sostre allegedly created and issued a large number of counterfeit inspection stickers at Tony’s Auto, which at the time was a licensed motor vehicle inspection station in Dorchester owned by Tommy Sostre.

Authorities allege that Jose and Tommy Sostre created a large number of counterfeit inspection stickers by using official inspection sticker stock on to which they cut and pasted various pieces of fraudulent information. They then allegedly affixed those “passing” counterfeit stickers on to numerous vehicles that did not pass safety or emissions inspections, or on to vehicles that weren’t inspected at all. According to authorities, Jose and Tommy Sostre would charge customers more for these counterfeit passing inspection stickers.

Investigators found physical evidence at Tony’s Auto that supported the charges. Investigators also discovered an illegal firearm allegedly belonging to Jose Sostre, who did not have a FID card.

Tony's Auto is not currently authorized to provide motor vehicle inspections.

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