Two defendants have pleaded guilty to their roles in a conspiracy to sell fraudulently obtained Class A commercial driver’s licenses by bribing DMV employees in Northern California.
DMV employee Emma Klem and trucking school owner Kulwinder Dosanjh Singh entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to commit bribery and to commit identity fraud. Four more individuals have been charged with conspiracy, bribery and fraud in connection to the case, including trucking school owners Pavitar Dosangh Singh and Mangal Gill, and DMV examiners Andrew Kimura and Robert Turchin.
Between June 2011 and March 2015, three owners of truck driving schools allegedly accepted money from individuals wanting CDLs without taking and passing the required written and behind-the-wheel driving tests. The owners used the money to bribe DMV employees to falsify information in the DMV database and grant fraudulent CDLs.
The number of CDLs issued as a result of the scheme could number over 100, according to court documents. The DMV has already cancelled or revoked a number of licenses that were fraudulently obtained and will review the evidence to determine additional actions.
The charges are the result of FBI, Homeland Security and DMV cases which originated separately but were combined over the course of the investigation.
“We depend on the Department of Motor Vehicles to keep the roads of this state safe, and individuals who undermine that function for personal gain must not expect leniency from the justice system,” said Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Attorney. “I am pleased that DMV Investigations worked so closely with FBI, HSI, and my office to expose and prosecute this conduct.”
Klem and Kulwinder Singh are scheduled to be sentenced in November and face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.
“This scheme enabled unqualified drivers to obtain licenses to operate all types of commercial vehicles,” said Tatum King, acting special agent in charge for HSI San Francisco. “The implications of putting untrained drivers behind the wheel in such cases is frankly chilling.”