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Press Release

Washington woman pleads guilty to using fake documentation to obtain over a hundred Virginia driver’s licenses

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Washington woman pled guilty today to aiding and abetting the unlawful production of identification documents after charging people hundreds of dollars to help them fraudulently obtain Virginia driver’s licenses.

According to court documents, from at least May 2022 through Aug. 21, 2023, Ashya Janai Harley, 30, charged people for her services to help them obtain Virginia driver’s licenses for which they did not qualify. Harley used falsified documents to fraudulently obtain her own Virginia commercial driver’s license, which she used to gain employment as a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) bus driver. Harley was employed as a WMATA bus driver in training from July 22, 2022, through Oct. 18, 2022, when WMATA terminated Harley during the training phase of her employment for reasons unrelated to her license. Two other people Harley assisted in fraudulently obtaining Virginia commercial driver’s licenses were employed as WMATA drivers.

While not altering identities, Harley would electronically alter driving transcripts and proof of residency documents required by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue driver’s licenses.

Harley often reused many of the same documents, usually her own bank or AT&T statements, when altering proof of residency documents. Harley used the same AT&T statement for more than 54 fraudulent license applications. She also reused her own driver’s transcripts many times.  Harley used her mother’s address in Alexandria on more than 67 proof of residency documents that she used to fraudulently assist others in obtaining the Virginia licenses. A Virginia DMV customer service agent noticed the repetition, alerting DMV Law Enforcement. DMV’s Law Enforcement Division began an investigation that ultimately led to Harley’s arrest.

Harley advertised her services for obtaining licenses on her Instagram accounts and buyers were also referred to Harley by her friends, family, and prior customers. Harley charged most buyers approximately $300 for securing driver’s licenses and $450 for commercial driver’s licenses. Overall, Harley aided and abetted in the acquisition of at least 124 Virginia driver’s licenses, 30 of which were commercial driver’s licenses, for individuals who were not qualified to receive them. Virginia DMV immediately cancelled all 124 licenses. 

Harley is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 26 and faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Matthew Stohler, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Washington Field Office; Gerald F. Lackey, Virginia DMV Commissioner; and Joseph Hill, Chief of DMV’s Law Enforcement Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Patricia Tolliver Giles accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathleen Robeson and Katherine Rumbaugh are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:24-cr-104.


Press Officer

Updated June 5, 2024