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Press Release

Davis Man Sentenced to over 3 Years in Prison for California Driver’s License Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — David Sun, 65, of Davis, was sentenced today to three years and one month in prison for a scheme to fraudulently obtain California Class A and Class B commercial driver licenses (CDLs) for the students of his commercial driving school, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

“He not only knowingly and willfully abused his position of trust for personal gain, but did so at the expense of others, in this document fraud scheme,” said Tatum King, special agent in charge, San Francisco, Homeland Security Investigations. “HSI will continue working with our law enforcement partners to identify and disrupt document fraud and bring to justice those involved in these illegal schemes.”

On Sept. 13, after a seven-day trial, a jury found Sun guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit unauthorized access of a computer and to produce identification documents without lawful authority, eight counts of production of identification documents without lawful authority, and one count of conspiracy to produce identification documents without lawful authority and to transfer identification documents produced without lawful authority.

According to court documents and evidence produced at trial, Sun operated a driving school named Commercial Driver Institute USA in the East Bay with a parking lot in Richmond. Sun primarily catered to Mandarin and Cantonese speaking students. He helped students get Class A or Class B commercial driver licenses that allowed them to drive large vehicles like tractor-trailer trucks and buses. Sun typically charged $2,500 to $6,500 per student.

Sun committed two different types of fraud: a testing conspiracy where Sun helped his California students fraudulently bypass the required written and/or behind the wheel driving tests to get commercial licenses, and a residency conspiracy where Sun recruited students from New York and helped them pose as California residents to get a California CDL. Sun would arrange for the licenses to be mailed to the students who had returned to their actual home state of New York.

Sun’s students struggled with the written tests because of their English language limitations so he helped them bypass the written testing requirements for learner’s permits. Those permits were issued from DMV’s Walnut Creek office under one employee’s login from at least November 2014 through January 2016. None of Sun’s students in the conspiracy or charged counts ever went to that Walnut Creek DMV office or passed the tests on the dates indicated in DMV’s records. Sun instructed his students to attempt the written tests, which they did at various DMV offices in the Bay Area. If they failed, Sun often took their DMV receipt, which would show their unique California DMV number, and a fraudulent permit would issue from the Walnut Creek DMV after fraudulent passing scores were entered under the Walnut Creek employee login.

On occasion, Sun provided his students with a Bluetooth device to wear during the driving test, and instructed them to wear a beanie to conceal it, so that Sun could tell the student what to say and do during the test. In addition, on many occasions Sun took his students to a particular licensing registration examiner at the DMV in Santa Rosa with whom Sun had a personal relationship. Evidence at trial showed that Sun was paid extra money to guarantee his students would pass the driving tests.

This case was the product of an investigation by the California Department of Motor Vehicles Office of Internal Affairs and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rosanne L. Rust and Christopher S. Hales prosecuted the case.

Updated December 19, 2019

Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 2:17-cr-223 KJM