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Press Release

Two Charged with Permit and Driver's License Test Conspiracies at Brockton RMV

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendants allegedly passed applicants who had failed permit and driver’s license tests

BOSTON – Two individuals have been charged and have agreed to plead guilty in connection with separate conspiracies to knowingly issue passing test scores to individuals who did not actually pass tests at the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) in Brockton. 

Mia Cox-Johnson, 43, of Brockton, was charged with two counts of extortion under color of official right and one count of conspiring to commit extortion. Estevao Semedo, 61, also of Brockton, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud. Plea hearings have not yet been scheduled by the court. 

According to the charging documents, Cox-Johnson, a former manager of the RMV service center in Brockton, took money in exchange for giving passing scores on learner’s permit tests for both passenger vehicle driver’s licenses and Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs). It is alleged that between December 2018 and October 2019, Cox-Johnson conspired to take money in exchange for agreeing to give customers passing scores on their multiple-choice learner’s permit tests even if they did not pass. These customers were allegedly told to request a paper test instead of taking the test on the RMV computer. Cox-Johnson scored these customers’ paper tests. 

On Dec. 28, 2018, Cox-Johnson allegedly accepted $1,000 in cash – delivered from a friend on behalf of another individual – in exchange for giving a passing score to the individual’s relative who had failed the passenger vehicle learner’s permit test six times when taking it in their native language. It is further alleged that Cox-Johnson agreed to score the relative as having passed the permit test regardless of whether they had actually passed. Cox-Johnson did in fact pass the relative’s test, which was taken on paper in English.

On Oct. 21, 2019, a customer came to the Brockton RMV and took three multiple-choice tests they needed to pass in order to get a commercial learner’s permit – a prerequisite to taking the road test for a CDL. Cox-Johnson allegedly accepted $200 in cash from an individual to score the customer as having passed the tests even if they did not actually pass. In fact, the applicant failed one of the tests, but it is alleged that Cox-Johnson scored the applicant as having passed all three tests.

According to the charging documents, Semedo, the owner of a driving school, conspired to defraud the RMV into issuing driver’s licenses to applicants who did not pass the road test. Specifically, it is alleged that Semedo paid a road test examiner at the Brockton RMV service center to misrepresent to the RMV that certain driver’s license applicants had passed their road test when in fact they had not. Some of the applicants did not even show up to take the test. As a result of the fraud, the RMV mailed driver’s licenses to unqualified applicants.

The charges of extortion under color of official right and conspiracy to commit extortion each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The charging document also seeks a $17,000 forfeiture money judgment against Semedo. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New England; and Christopher Scharf, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region, made the announcement today. The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF). Valuable assistance was provided by the Mattapoisett Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Wichers and Adam Deitch of Rollins’s Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit; Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris, Deputy Chief of Rollins’ Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mackenzie Duane of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated March 2, 2023

Public Corruption