Former Nevada DMV Employee Sentenced to Almost Six Years in Prison
Las Vegas, Nev. - A Former Nevada DMV employee who accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for providing unauthorized Nevada identification documents to undocumented aliens, was sentenced today to 71 months in prison and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine for her guilty pleas to federal conspiracy and bribery charges, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
DALVA FLAGG, age 48, of Las Vegas, Nevada, pleaded guilty on December 9, 2003, to Conspiracy, Bribery, Using a Social Security Number Assigned to Another Person, Money Laundering, and Making a False Tax Return. She was arrested on federal charges on December 5, 2002, following a year-long joint investigation by several federal, state, and local agencies into allegations of corruption within the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Investigators received information that employees were involved in the fraudulent sale of Nevada driver's licenses, instructional permits, and identification cards. The documents were sold primarily to undocumented aliens who were not authorized to receive such documents.
In her guilty plea memorandum, DALVA FLAGG admitted that she was an employee of the Nevada DMV and authorized to issue driver's licenses, instruction permits and identification cards. FLAGG admitted that from approximately February 2000 through May 2002, she assisted co-conspirators JESUS IGLESIAS VERDIN and VIOLETA UGARTE-FIGUEROA in providing unauthorized Nevada identification documents to undocumented aliens.
VERDIN and UGARTE-FIGUEROA found "customers" and charged them $1,100 to $1,200 for the unauthorized documents. FLAGG provided VERDIN or UGARTE-FIGUEROA with identification paperwork for the customers containing a fictitious name and social security number. VERDIN or UGARTE-FIGUEROA provided it to the customers and instructed them to go directly to the DMV photograph area to obtain the desired identification document, thereby bypassing all other requirements to obtain the identification.
For each transaction,VERDIN and UGARTE-FIGUEROA, kept $100 of the $1,100 to $1,200 and gave the rest to FLAGG. VERDIN estimated he received more than $100,000 from providing documents to undocumented aliens, of which he kept approximately $10,000 and provided the rest to FLAGG. UGARTE-FIGUEROA estimated she received more than $250,000, of which she kept approximately $25,000 and gave the remainder to FLAGG.
FLAGG also admitted in her guilty plea memorandum that on January 24, 2002, she gave several individuals $5,000 in cash to deposit into their bank accounts. In February 2002, she asked each of them to return the $5,000, and used it to purchase a house. FLAGG took these actions to disguise the fact that she was receiving the money from bribery activities, and to avoid federal transaction reporting requirements. One of the individuals to whom FLAGG provided money was her brother, RUY SILVA, age 42, of Las Vegas. For that conduct, SILVA pleaded guilty to Structuring Transactions to Avoid Reporting Requirements, and was sentenced on March 15, 2004, to10 months imprisonment.
FLAGG also admitted that a substantial portion of the monies she earned between February 2000 and May 2002 was from bribes, and that she willfully failed to report the monies on her 2001 tax return.
UGARTE-FIGUEROA pleaded guilty to False Statements, and was sentenced on December 17, 2003, to 15 months imprisonment. VERDIN pleaded guilty to Social Security Fraud, and Identification Fraud and was sentenced on January 12, 2004, to four months imprisonment.
This case was investigated by Special Agents with the United States Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, FBI, and IRS Criminal Investigation, and law enforcement officers with the Nevada Division of Investigation, Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Pugh.