Commercial driving school owner/instructor and two brokers indicted for taking money in turn for giving passing grades to driver's license applicants
DENVER – A federal grand jury in Denver last week returned an indictment charging three defendants with mail fraud and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds in connection with the illegal sale of documents that enabled the purchaser to obtain a driver license or learner’s permit, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Colorado Department of Revenue announced. The three defendants indicted are Sikiru A. Fadeyi, age 62 of Centennial, Djibrill Sana, age 34 of Aurora, and Omar Masakira, age 53 of Denver. Fadeyi and Masakira made their initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Denver last Friday. Sana turned himself in to FBI agents in Denver today. All three defendants are due back in federal court for arraignment on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012.
According to the indictment, Sikiru A. Fadeyi is the owner and operator of Ola’s Auto Services (OAS), a commercial driving school located in Denver. Fadeyi was authorized to administer Basic Operators Skill Testing on behalf of the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles, Driver Education Compliance Section (“Colorado DMV”). OAS provided the requisite testing for individuals to obtain a basic operators driver’s license or instruction permit in the State of Colorado. Once proof is provided to the State, the licensing information is forwarded by the Colorado DMV to an out of state contracted document manufacturer.
From February 2009 through June 2011 Fadeyi allegedly participated in a scheme to defraud the State of Colorado, specifically the Colorado DMV, by falsely certifying that applicants for Colorado driver’s licenses and instruction permits had successfully completed the required testing when in fact he knew they did not. As part of the scheme, the defendant would then provide to the applicants the fraudulent government documents certifying for the Colorado DMV that the applicant had successfully completed the required testing. The applicant then physically delivered the false certification to the DMV, resulting in the applicant receiving by mail a State of Colorado driver’s license and/or instruction permit.
The indictment alleges that Fadeyi received cash payments from applicants in return for fraudulently issuing passing grades on the Colorado DMV’s written and/or driving skills tests. He accepted approximately $100 to $1,000 from applicants for one or both of the examinations and issued receipts that falsely reflected lesser amounts. Fadeyi also falsified the written and driving examination results for applicants who could not speak, read and/or write English adequately, or could not pass the tests for other reasons.
Fadeyi employed two brokers as part of his scheme. The co-conspirators, Djibrill Sana and Omar Masakira, introduced individuals who needed a driver’s license but didn’t qualify for a variety of reasons to Fadeyi, who in turn falsified their tests for a fee. The brokers took cash payments from the applicants or Fadeyi in return for the referral. Because of the defendants’ actions, 1,458 driver’s licenses tied to Fadeyi from 2009 through 2011 were revoked.
“The defendant’s conduct allowed individuals to drive who have not passed the required test,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Providing fraudulent driver’s licenses creates obvious safety issues on our roads for the driving public.”
“Investigating those who accept bribes and misuse taxpayer dollars is one of the FBI’s highest priorities,” stated FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge James Yacone. “With our partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will work diligently to ensure individuals in positions of public trust act accordingly. In furtherance of this mission, the FBI encourages citizens to report any and all information related to corrupt activities by public officials or those who accept public funds.”
“The Division of Motor Vehicles has zero tolerance for criminal activity against State Government operations and the citizens of Colorado,” said Roni White, Deputy Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles. “We will continue to seek criminal prosecution for all of those involved.”
Fadeyi faces 25 counts of mail fraud. If convicted of mail fraud he faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000 per count. He also faces one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. If convicted on that count the defendant faces not more than 10 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sana faces six counts of mail fraud. If convicted on those counts he faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of not more than $250,000 per count. Masakira faces two counts of mail fraud. If convicted on those counts he also faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000 per count.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicle Investigations Unit.
The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Mackey.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.