Bakersfield Trucking School Owner and Former DMV Employee Charged in Scheme to Fraudulently Issue Commercial Driver’s Licenses
FRESNO, Calif. — Two Bakersfield residents were arrested today for their for their roles in a conspiracy to sell California driver’s licenses to unqualified drivers, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
On March 15, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment against Paramjit Singh Mangat, 54, and Javier Jesus Hernandez-Herrera, 54, charging them with criminal conspiracy, six counts of unlawful production of an identification document, and six counts of unlawful transfer of an identification document.
According to court documents, Mangat operated driving schools in Bakersfield that ostensibly provided training to those seeking to obtain driver licenses, including Akal Truck Driving School and Akal Driving School. When students had difficulty passing DMV examinations, in return for money, Mangat offered to assist them in obtaining fraudulently issued, yet official licenses through Mangat’s contact, Herrera, a DMV employee.
From approximately June 2012 through August 24, 2016, Mangat conspired with Herrera, a Licensing Registration Examiner at a DMV office in Bakersfield. In return for monetary payment, Herrera agreed to access the students’ DMV records and alter the records to reflect that the individual had passed DMV written and/or behind-the-wheel examinations, when, in fact, the individual had not passed one or more required DMV tests. Herrera’s alteration of the records resulted in the DMV issuing a California driver’s license and mailing it to that individual. The indictment also charges the unlawful production and transfer of six specific commercial licenses.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Department of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Investigations Division Office of Internal Affairs. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Henry Z. Carbajal III and David L. Gappa are prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Mangat and Herrera face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy charge and a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the charges of unlawful production and transfer of identification documents. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.