SAN DIEGO (CN) – Seven employees in El Cajon DMV offices took bribes of up to $3,000 a pop to issue “hundreds of fraudulent driver licenses” to people who failed or never even took the required tests, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Twenty-three people were charged in what proscutors called “a long-running bribery conspiracy” run through two state Department of Motor Vehicles offices in El Cajon.
Sixteen people were charged with bribing the DMV workers for the licenses, or with being “recruiters who brokered the corrupt deals for fraudulent licenses by getting money from the applicants and paying the bribes to the DMV employees,” prosecutors said.
Commercial Class A licenses at the Rancho San Diego Road DMV station went for $2,500 to $3,000, prosecutors said. These licenses allow drivers to operate commercial rigs weighing more than 5 tons.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s statement: “the corruption scheme involved the fraudulent production of both Class C (regular) and Commercial Class A driver licenses. Hundreds of applicants paid recruiters approximately $400-$500 for each fraudulent Class C license, which the conspirators produced at the El Cajon DMV. The complaint alleges that the DMV employees named in the complaint accepted bribes paid by these applicants despite the obvious public safety risk posed. For example, one DMV employee admitted to a recruiter that an applicant taking a driving test was so dangerous that she was ‘gonna kill someone.’ The DMV employee, however,
provided a fraudulent license to the dangerous applicant in exchange for a bribe the recruiter because he ‘need[ed] cash.'”
Twenty-one defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and to produce unauthorized identification documents; four were charged with bribery, and the operator of the U.S. Driving School in El Cajon, Kuvan Adil Piomari, was
charged with bribery, prosecutors said.