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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 26, 2019

Former DMV Employee Sentenced for a Scheme to Issue Commercial Licenses to Unqualified Drivers

Defendants worked in DMV offices in Arleta, Granada Hills, and Winnetka

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Kari Scattaglia, 40, of Sylmar, was sentenced today to two years and eight months in prison for a conspiracy to take bribes to provide Class A commercial driver licenses without the buyer having to take or pass the required tests, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

“The FBI is committed to working with law enforcement and agency partners to root out corruption, especially when it puts the lives of our fellow citizens at risk,” said Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI Sacramento Field Office. “Scattaglia’s greed led her to value self‑enrichment over the safety of the millions of people accessing California and interstate highways. Instead of performing her job honestly, she took bribes in exchange for enabling drivers of tractor-trailer trucks to operate in California without passing the tests required to ensure they could operate safely.”

“Individuals in positions of trust who exploit federal and state law for personal gain pose a significant threat to public safety and national security,” said Jerry C. Templet Jr, Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (San Francisco and Northern California). “HSI will continue working with our local, state, and federal partners to investigate these types of public corruption cases and bring those responsible to justice.”

On November 3, 2017, Scattaglia and former DMV employee co-defendant Lisa Terraciano, 52, of North Hollywood, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit bribery, to commit identity fraud, and to commit unauthorized access of a computer.

According to court documents, since April 2007, Scattaglia worked at the DMV. Between 2014 and 2017, she was a manager, assistant manager, and a Licensing-Registration Examiner (LRE) at the Arleta DMV and the Granada Hills Driver License Processing Center. Terraciano worked for the DMV since June 2005 and was a Motor Vehicle Representative (MVR) in the Winnetka DMV office from 2014 through 2017. Among other things, Scattaglia and Terraciano were responsible for processing applications for California commercial driver licenses (CDLs). A CDL is required to drive passenger buses and to operate tractor-trailer trucks on California and interstate highways, including, in some cases, transporting hazardous materials.

In exchange for money, Scattaglia and Terraciano each accessed the DMV’s database in Sacramento to alter the records of applicants to fraudulently show that the applicants had passed the required written tests when, in truth, the applicants had not passed the tests or, at times, even taken the written tests. In so doing, this caused the DMV to issue permits to those drivers as well as issue completed CDLs upon the applicants’ passing the behind-the-wheel driving tests. In addition, Scattaglia also accessed the DMV database to fraudulently alter applicants’ records to show that the applicants had passed the driving tests despite the applicants not having taken or passed those tests.

According to the plea agreements, Scattaglia caused at least 68 fraudulent CDLs, including permits, to be issued, and Terraciano caused at least 148 fraudulent CDLs, including permits, to be issued.

This case is the product of an investigation by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Office of Internal Affairs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rosanne L. Rust is prosecuting the case.

Terraciano is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. on Sept. 27. Terraciano faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, 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.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 
2:17-cr-187 GEB
Updated July 26, 2019