Former DMV Employee and Trucking School Owner Sentenced for Bribery and Identity Fraud
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. sentenced DMV employee Robert Turchin, 68, of Salinas, California, to six years and six months in prison and sentenced Pavittar Dosangh Singh, 57, of Flowood, Mississippi, to 10 months in prison for conspiracy to commit bribery and identity fraud, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Turchin was an employee at the Salinas field office for the Department of Motor Vehicles between 2012 and 2015. Turchin was responsible for conducting tests for applicants for commercial licenses to operate 18-wheel tractor-trailers and commercial buses. Truck school owner Mangal Gill offered to obtain commercial licenses for people without having to pass the written tests or even take the required behind-the-wheel tests. Gill worked with Turchin and another DMV employee, Emma Klem, to have them access the DMV database to fraudulently enter test results at Gill’s request.
During the investigation, confidential operatives were able to obtain three official commercial licenses in 2013 and 2014. Collectively, they paid Gill over $12,000 after Turchin and Klem accessed the DMV database to fraudulently enter passing scores for the operatives despite the fact that the operatives did not pass or otherwise take the required tests. The trial evidence also demonstrated that Gill and Turchin continued to be involved in this fraudulent conduct until March 28, 2015, days before agents executed search warrants and found in Turchin’s vehicle slips of paper containing the numbers of fraudulently updated driver license records as well as several envelopes full of cash totaling over $10,000. The trial evidence showed that Turchin and his co-conspirators falsified DMV database records for at least 40 individuals for the purpose of obtaining commercial licenses.
According to court documents, Pavittar Singh owned a trucking school in Sacramento. Between April 2013 and March 2015, Singh paid money, through intermediaries, to employees of the DMV in order to obtain California Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) for individuals without those individuals taking or passing the requisite tests.
This case was the product of a series of ongoing investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and the California DMV, Office of Internal Affairs. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Todd A. Pickles and Rosanne Rust are prosecuting the case.
Mangal Gill was sentenced on November 2, 2018, to four years and three months in prison. Andrew Kimura, a DMV employee, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and identity fraud and was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison. DMV employee Emma Klem and Kulwinder Dosanjh Singh, a broker, also previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and identity fraud as part of the same investigation in United States v. Klem, 2:15-cr-139, and United States v. Kulwinder Dosanjh, 2:15-cr-146, respectively. They are scheduled for sentencing on November 16, 2018. They face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentences, however, will 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.