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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 5, 2019

Driving School Owner Sentenced to over 3 Years in Prison for Bribing DMV Employees to Issue Commercial Driver’s Licenses to Unqualified Drivers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Jagpal “Paul” Singh, 61; of Los Angeles, was sentenced today to three years and three months in prison for his participation in a scheme to bribe DMV employees to provide California commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) to unqualified drivers, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

On March 1, Singh pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, to commit identity fraud, and to commit unauthorized use of a computer, and for identification document fraud. According to court documents, Singh paid bribes to two DMV employees, Lisa Terraciano and Kari Scattaglia, both of whom pleaded guilty. Terraciano was sentenced to three years and four months in prison, and Scattaglia was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison, for, in part, accessing and altering records in the DMV’s database in Sacramento for Singh’s students. Records were altered to show that applicants for CDLs had passed the required tests when, in truth, they had not done so, and in some cases had not even taken the tests. This caused the DMV to issue permits and completed CDLs despite the applicants not having taken or passed those tests.

 This case is the product of an investigation by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Office of Internal Affairs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), and the Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rosanne L. Rust is prosecuting the case.

Charges are pending against co-defendants Tajinder Singh, 34, driving school owner; Parminder Singh, 29, broker; and Shawana Denise Harris, 49, DMV employee at the Rancho Cucamonga DMV Office. They are schedule to go to trial on June 1, 2020. The charges are only allegations; they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the defendants each faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 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.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated January 25, 2022