News and Press Releases

Additional Felony Charges Brought Against Former Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles Employee

March 18, 2003

Reno, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada; Ellen B. Knowlton, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for Nevada; Wade Walters, Resident Agent-in-Charge of the United States Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General (SSA-OIG); Byram Tichenor, Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation for Nevada and Utah; Phil Brown, Acting Chief for the State of Nevada Department of Public Safety Division of Investigation (NDPS); Ginny Lewis, Director of the State of Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (Nevada DMV); and Clark County Sheriff Bill Young, announce that additional felony charges have been brought against former Nevada DMV employee, DALVA FLAGG, age 48, of Las Vegas, Nevada.

In December 2002, FLAGG was arrested and charged in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas with Conspiracy, Bribery, Interference With Commerce by Extortion, and Unlawful Use of Social Security Numbers. In addition to those counts, FLAGG was charged today in a Superseding Criminal Indictment with Structuring Currency Transactions to Avoid IRS Reporting Requirements; Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering; Money Laundering; Engaging in Monetary Transactions in Property Derived From Specified Unlawful Activity; Fraud and Related Activity in Connection With Identification Documents; Wire Fraud; Making and Subscribing False Tax Returns; and Forfeiture. A co-defendant, RUY A. SILVA, age 41, of Las Vegas, has also been charged with Structuring Currency Transactions to Avoid IRS Reporting Requirements and Money Laundering. Both FLAGG and SILVA are in custody.

The charges resulted from a year-long joint investigation by the above agencies into allegations of corruption within the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. Investigators received information that employees were involved in the fraudulent sale of Nevada driver's licenses, instructional permits, identification cards, and vehicle registrations. The documents were sold primarily to undocumented aliens who were not authorized to receive such documents.

The court records allege that from approximately February 2000 through May 31, 2002, a bribery scheme occurred in which undocumented aliens paid co-conspirators $1,100 to $1,200 for Nevada drivers licenses, identification cards, and vehicle registrations. The co-conspirators met FLAGG at pre-arranged locations, including in and around the Carey Road DMV office where FLAGG worked, and FLAGG provided them with identification documents in exchange for $1,000. The co-conspirators typically kept $100 to $200 of the payments for themselves.

The court records further allege that in January and February 2002, numerous currency deposits were made into various branches of Wells Fargo Bank accounts in Las Vegas in the names of RUY A. SILVA and DALVA A. FLAGG; that on August 9, 2001, FLAGG paid $14,500 in cash to a Las Vegas automobile dealership for the purchase of a vehicle; that on February 11, 2002, FLAGG purchased a cashier's check in the amount of $33,727.17, and used it to purchase a residence at 4285 Segovia Terrace, in Las Vegas; that FLAGG falsely reported her income on loan applications, pay stubs, and W-2 forms, and submitted a false gift letter when purchasing the home; and that FLAGG understated her true income on her individual federal income tax returns for the years 2000 and 2001.

If convicted, the defendants are facing up to five years imprisonment on the Conspiracy, Unlawful Use of Social Security Number, Structuring Transactions, and Wire Fraud counts; up to 10 years imprisonment on the Bribery and Monetary Transactions counts; up to 15 years on the Identification Fraud count; and up to 20 years imprisonment on the Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce and Money Laundering counts. The defendants may also be ordered to pay up to $250,000 in fines for each count. The actual sentence, however, will be dictated by the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and will be imposed at the discretion of the Court.

The case was investigated by the above-referenced agencies and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Howard Zlotnick.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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