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US fridge engineer sentenced and fined for trying to sell refrigerants online

US Government’s Environmental Protection Agency cracks down on unlicensed R22 sales

A Detroit engineer has been sentenced to probation for a year and fined $5,000 for advertising R22 for sale to unlicensed buyers on the online classified advertising site Craigslist.

Douglas Mertz, 38, a certified rac engineer, was sentenced before US District Judge Denise Page Hood today for attempting to sell the refrigerant to buyers without refrigerant handling certification.

One posting read: “If you cannot get R-22 on your own, no EPA card or license, we can do business,” reports the Detroit Free Press.

He was caught when he tried to sell 10 bottles of R-22 to an undercover EPA agent.

“It is a serious offence to sell R-22 or other ozone-depleting refrigerants to people who haven’t been trained to properly handle these substances. In this case, the defendant not only made this illegal sale, but went further and created a false document to cover his tracks.” EPA Special Agent Randall Ashe told the newspaper.

As part of his sentence, Mertz was required to surrender his EPA refrigerant handling certification.

He was fined $5,000 for delivering a false document regarding a hazardous material. He also was sentenced to one year probation, and ordered to pay restitution up to $750.

Mertz’s accomplice, Wasim Ibrahim Bony, was sentenced on April 19 for aiding and abetting Mertz in making and delivering a false document. He was fined $1,500, and ordered to pay up to $750 in restitution.

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