Couple Pleads Guilty to Scheme to Help Drivers Cheat on Commercial Driver’s License Exam
Defendants Forfeit $175,000 Of Scheme Proceeds
Ying Wai Phillip Ng and his wife, Pui Kuen Ng, each pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit mail fraud as part of a scheme to help non-English speakers cheat on the written commercial driver’s license (CDL) test offered by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The guilty pleas were entered before United States District Judge I. Leo Glasser at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn. As part of their plea agreements, the defendants agreed to refrain from operating a driving school or otherwise assisting applicants for driver’s licenses, and to the closure of their driving school. Also as part of their plea agreements, the defendants agreed to forfeit to the government as proceeds of the crime assets worth a total of approximately $175,000.
The guilty pleas were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York.
The DMV administers a closed-book multiple-choice written test for applicants seeking a CDL to operate buses and trucks above a certain size. The defendants operated a driving school in Brooklyn – N&Y Professional Service Line (N&Y) – which was licensed by the DMV to offer courses and training to applicants seeking a CDL. During their guilty plea allocutions, the defendants each admitted that they helped CDL applicants who were not proficient in English cheat on the written CDL exam, which is given only in English and Spanish. Pui Kuen Ng referred non-English speaking applicants to her husband. Ying Wai Phillip Ng gave applicants a paging device as well as a jacket containing a hidden camera and instructed the applicants to wear the jacket and carry the paging device while taking the written exam. He instructed the applicants to point the hidden camera at the exam paper while Ying waited in a minivan in the parking lot of the DMV office. The images from the hidden camera were transmitted to a video screen in the minivan, where Ying viewed them and then transmitted the correct answer to the paging device worn by the applicants. In this manner, the defendants helped approximately 500 CDL applicants cheat on the exams between approximately January 2001 through March 2012.
“Cheating on commercial driver’s license tests jeopardizes passengers, pedestrians and drivers alike,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Those who would put the public safety at risk for commercial gain, as these defendants did, will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to HSI, the lead agency in the government’s investigation, and thanked the DMV and the United States Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, for their assistance.
The defendants each face a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul Tuchmann.
YING WAI PHILLIP NG
Residence: Brooklyn, NY
PUI KUEN NG
Residence: Brooklyn, NY
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