Two DMV Employees Plead Guilty To Conspiring To Commit Bribery And Identity Fraud As Part Of Ongoing Investigation Of Commercial Licenses Issued To Unqualified Drivers
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Kari Scattaglia, 39, of Newhall, and Lisa Terraciano, 51, of North Hollywood, pleaded guilty today to their roles in a conspiracy to sell Class A commercial driver’s licenses without the buyer having to take or pass the required tests, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
On October 18, 2017, Scattaglia and Terraciano were charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, identity fraud, and unauthorized access of a computer.
“The United States Attorney’s Office, together with its partners at the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the FBI, and ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, is committed to investigating and prosecuting crimes such as these that violate the public trust and pose a risk to public safety,” stated U.S. Attorney Talbert.
“Homeland Security Investigations will continue to work with our partners to prevent document and benefit fraud schemes, especially when these schemes threaten the welfare of innocent people. The safety of the citizens of California is our paramount concern,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), San Francisco.
According to court documents, since April 2007, Scattaglia worked as 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’s licenses (CDLs). A CDL is required to operate tractor-trailer trucks on California and interstate highways, including, in some cases, transporting hazardous materials.
In exchange for the payment of 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.
Based upon evidence obtained through the investigation, it was determined that Terraciano caused no less than 148 fraudulent CDLs, including permits, to be issued and that Scattaglia caused no less than 68 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 the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorneys Todd A. Pickles and Rosanne L. Rust are prosecuting the case.
This case is related to the charges in United States v. Klem, 2:15-cr-139 GEB, United States v. Singh, 2:15-cr-146 GEB, and United States v. Kimura, et al., 2:15-cr-161 GEB. Defendants Emma Klem and Kulwinder Dosangh Singh have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Defendant Andrew Kimura pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison. The remaining defendants in 2:15-cr-161 GEB are set for trial in April 2018; the charges against them are only allegations, and they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Scattaglia and Terraciano face 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.