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Press Release

Stockton Residents Sentenced for Scheme to Change Test Scores in DMV Computers

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Stockton residents Donald Earl Freeman Jr., 26, was sentenced today to three years and one month in prison, and Juan Arturo Arroyo Gomez, 32, was sentenced to one year in prison, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

On December 14, 2017, Freeman and Arroyo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, identity fraud, and unauthorized access to a computer for accepting bribes to change test scores in the computers of the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

“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.”

According to court documents, Freeman was an employee at the DMV’s Tracy branch office and among other things, was responsible for processing applications for California commercial driver licenses (CDLs). Such CDLs permit the license holders to drive passenger buses or to operate tractor-trailer trucks on California and interstate highways, including, in some cases, hauling hazardous materials. Arroyo was a broker in the scheme and solicited truck driving students to pay him to assist them in obtaining driving permits.

According to court documents, in exchange for money from Arroyo and other brokers, Freeman 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 completed CDLs upon the applicants passing the behind-the-wheel driving tests.

According to their plea agreements, Freeman caused no less than 123 fraudulent permits to be issued, including at least 13 at the request of, and in exchange for payment from, Arroyo.

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

Updated August 1, 2019

Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 2:17-cr-207 MCE