20 people, including employees, convicted in California DMV corruption cases

20 people, including employees, convicted in California DMV corruption cases

15 Nov 2022 ( Justice.gov )

U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced today the completion of prosecutions of 20 defendants in a series of DMV corruption cases charged in the Eastern District of California. Charges against the defendants included bribery of public officials, identity fraud, unauthorized access of computers, and conspiracies to commit those offenses. The defendants included corrupt DMV employees who took bribes, trucking school owners and affiliates who bribed them, and others who participated in the conspiracies. The criminal activities charged in these cases took place throughout California, including the Central Valley, Los Angeles Basin, and as far north as Eureka.

Defendants helped put unqualified commercial drivers on the nation’s highways operating large commercial vehicles even though those drivers had not passed the necessary written and driving tests. DMV employees accepted bribes to enter fraudulent test scores for applicants who had not even taken the tests or who could not pass them. Various trucking schools in California looked for corrupt DMV employees they could bribe to help failing or unqualified students get their commercial licenses anyway. In total, hundreds of fraudulent commercial driver license permits and licenses were issued as a part of these schemes, jeopardizing public safety.

Defendants Terraciano and Sun later had their sentences reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic under the CARES Act.

These cases were the product of an investigation by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Office of Internal Affairs; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security Investigations; and the Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rosanne L. Rust and Christopher S. Hales prosecuted the cases.