United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Fresno Man Pleads Guilty To Extensive Conspiracy To Illegally Issue California Driver’s Licenses
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Monday, August 20, 2012
Docket #: 1:11-CR-00275 LJO
FRESNO, Calif. — Yadwinder Singh, 50, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to unlawfully produce California driver’s licenses, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Singh acted as a recruiter of recipients in a scheme to sell fraudulently obtained “Class C” or “Class A” commercial driver’s licenses. Former DMV technician Alfonso Casarez took the recipients’ information obtained by Singh and had driver’s licenses issued. Casarez altered the electronic DMV records to make it appear as though the recipients had passed the required written and behind-the-wheel tests although they had either never passed the tests or had never taken them. The DMV would automatically issue and mail a genuine driver’s license to the recipient.
According to court documents, Singh found paying recipients by waiting outside of the Fresno DMV. He approached people with an offer to assist them in obtaining Class A commercial or Class C licenses without the need to pass required tests.
Another recruiting technique used by Singh involved him posing as a trucking school instructor. Participants would complete a DMV application and receive rudimentary instruction from Singh in operating a commercial truck. Upon paying Singh a substantial “tuition” payment, participants would be told they had passed all DMV tests. A portion of the tuition payment went to Alfonso Casarez, who would cause the driver’s license to be issued unlawfully. Between 2007 and January 2011, Singh caused at least 32 commercial and noncommercial licenses to be unlawfully produced during the course of the
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Investigations Division, Office of Internal Affairs. Assistant United States Attorneys Henry Z. Carbajal III and Grant B. Rabenn are prosecuting the case.
Singh is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on October 29, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
Co-defendant Alfonso Casarez is set for trial on April 2, 2013. The charges against him are only allegations and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.