Former Aurora Driving School Owner Is Sentenced To Prison For Mail Fraud And Filing A False Tax Return
DENVER – Stuart Bryan King, age 54, of Centennial, who is the owner of Little Lake Driving Academy, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez to serve 15 months in federal prison for mail fraud and filing a false tax return the U.S. Attorney’s office, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Investigations Unit announced. Following his prison sentence he was ordered to serve 3 years on supervised release. King was also ordered by Judge Martinez to pay a $3,500 fine as well as $33,772 in restitution to the IRS. King was charged by a complaint on March 5, 2013 and subsequently charged by a Grand Jury in Denver on April 8, 2013. He pled guilty on March 7, 2014 to a two count information.
According to the charging documents and plea, Little Lake Driving Academy (LLDA), located at 1415 Havana Street in Aurora, Colorado, acted as a third party tester for the State of Colorado’s Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles, administering written and driving examinations on behalf of the State of Colorado in order for an individual to obtain a Colorado Driver’s License. All driving schools must meet specific requirements and comply with Colorado State law in order to be a third party tester for the Division. The company provided the requisite testing for individuals to obtain a basic operator’s driver’s license and/or instruction permit in the State of Colorado. King owns Little Lake Driving Academy, and is a licensed tester with the State of Colorado. King was authorized to conduct driver education classes as well as certify an applicant’s successful written and driving examinations so they could receive the valid Colorado driving documents.
From August 2009 through November 2012, King and an employee of LLDA knowingly devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by falsely certifying that applicants for a Colorado Driver’s License and instruction permit had successfully completed the required testing. As part of the scheme, the two defendants falsely certified that applicants had taken and passed the written tests. The applicants then presented the certified documents to the DMV and received by mail a State of Colorado driver’s license and/or instruction permit.
As a result of the scheme, driver's licenses were mailed to applicants and during 2009 through 2012, and King administered nearly 1,000 of these "tests" collecting $323,050 in fees. King owned La Lagunilla, Inc. and Sovereign Enterprises, Ltd. which did business as Little Lake Driving Academy. For tax years 2009 through 2011, King failed to file business tax returns and under reported income which resulted in a tax loss of $33,772.
Furthermore, the investigation revealed that people who could not speak, read or write English traveled from Missouri and other states to Colorado. Those who traveled to Colorado from Missouri had previously purchased the identities of U.S. citizens and obtained Missouri identification cards in the names of the stolen identities. These individuals, after utilizing the services of Little Lake, turned in their Missouri identification cards to obtain Colorado driver’s licenses and instruction permits. In separate charging documents, 20 individuals who had utilized the services of Little Lake and who turned in Missouri identification cards were indicted in Colorado for Aggravated Identity Theft. To date, Catarina Alcon, Freddy Castro-Alcon, Lucia Contreras Perez, Juan Garcia, Elias Garcia-Perez, Diego Hernandez-Batz, Candelarlio Hernandez-Perez, Martha Jimenze-Ortiz, Gustavo Monteroso-Velasquez, Isnael Raymundo, Jose Antonio Rivera, Felix Solis, Carlos Villa-Flores and Elias Zetino-Vicente have been arrested based on the Aggravated Identity Theft indictments.
“The fraud committed by this defendant put the public’s safety at risk,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “By providing documentation authorizing the issuance of driver licenses to those who have not properly qualified not only puts the driving public at risk, it also potentially hides individuals’ true identities.”
“Investigating and prosecuting tax fraud and identity theft are priorities for IRS Criminal Investigation,” Stephen Boyd, Special Agent in Charge for IRS Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring those to justice who commit these crimes harming our citizens whose identities are stolen.”
“The fraudulent use of identification documents, both real and counterfeit, may allow the bearer to board an aircraft, improperly obtain a government benefit or allow a criminal to remain in the shadows undetected. These crimes represent a very real threat to our public safety and the security of our nation,” said Kumar Kibble, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. “Through the combined authorities and expertise of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively target those participating in or facilitating these crimes.”
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Investigations Unit.
The defendants were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Brown.