Former State Employee Sentenced to 12 months in Prison for Role in $2 Million Scheme to Defraud the Office of AIDS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Three indictments have been unsealed, charging several DMV employees and others for their roles in a conspiracy to sell California Class A commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) to unqualified drivers, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. These indictments are related to three earlier indictments stemming from the same investigation.
U.S. v. Jagpal Singh, et al., 2:17-cr-210 MCE
On November 16, 2017, five Southern California residents were charged in a 43-count indictment. According to court documents, Jagpal “Paul” Singh, 59; Jagdish Singh, 55; Tajinder Singh, 34; and Parminder Singh, 27, allegedly paid bribes to DMV employees to access and alter records in the DMV’s database in Sacramento. Records were allegedly 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. In so doing, this caused the DMV to issue permits and completed CDLs despite the applicants not having taken or passed those tests. Jagdish Singh and Tajinder Singh are also alleged to have conspired with co‑defendant Shawana Denise Harris, 47, who worked at the Rancho Cucamonga DMV Office, paying her to get commercial permits for applicants without them having to take or pass the written CDL test. On November 2, 2017, Kari Scattaglia and Lisa Terraciano pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy. (case number 2:17-cr-187 GEB).
United States v. Mahboob, 2:17-cr-213 TLN
On November 16, 2017, Rahim Mahboob, 66, of Los Angeles, was charged in a 13-count indictment alleging that he conspired with Terraciano, paying her to alter DMV records to incorrectly indicate that applicants had passed written exams for CDLs when, in fact, they had not taken or passed those exams. These fraudulent entries in the DMV’s database caused the DMV to issue permits and ultimately CDLs to Mahboob’s clients.
United States v. Lima, et al., 2:17-cr-212 JAM
On November 16, 2017, two Stockton residents were charged in an 11-count indictment. According to court documents, Ruvila “Ruby” Lima, 49, and Poya “Sameer” Khanjan, 26, conspired with Juan Arturo Arroyo Gomez and Donald E. Freeman Jr. (charged in case number 2:17-cr-207 MCE) to acquire commercial driving permits for individuals who had not taken or passed the written exam. Freeman, a DMV employee in the Tracy DMV office, allegedly accessed the DMV database without authorization to alter DMV records to fraudulently show that the tests were passed. Freeman and Arroyo are scheduled to appear on December 13, 2017 for initial appearance and waiver of indictment, and to plead guilty to the information charging them with conspiracy to commit bribery, identity fraud, and unauthorized access to a computer, on December 14, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. before the Honorable Morrison C. England, Jr.
Additionally, on November 17, 2017, Aaron Gilliam, 50, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bribery, identity fraud, and unauthorized access of a computer (case number 2:17-cr-200 GEB). According to court documents, Gilliam was a DMV employee at the North Hollywood Office and accepted bribes in exchange for altering DMV records to provide permits for commercial driver’s licenses for applicants who had not taken or passed the necessary examinations.
The indictments are part of a series of ongoing investigations 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. Attorneys Todd A. Pickles and Rosanne L. Rust are prosecuting the cases.
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.
The charges as to the defendants who have not pleaded guilty are only allegations; these defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.