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Two Sentenced In Fraudulent CDL Test-Taking Scheme in New York

On March 31 and April 1, 2016, Joachim Pierre and Dale Harper were sentenced in U.S. District Court, Brooklyn, NY. Pierre was sentenced to 6 months’ incarceration and $5,100 in fines and Harper was sentenced 3 years’ probation and 100 hours of community service. On July 17, 2015, after a 3-day trial, a Federal jury found Pierre and Harper, along with three other defendants, guilty of charges related to cheating on commercial driver’s license (CDL) tests. Six other defendants have pleaded guilty in this case.

The investigation revealed that fraudulent CDL test-taking activities had taken place at five New York State, Department of Motor Vehicle (NYS DMV) test centers in the New York City area. Surveillance operations, including use of remote observation posts and pole-cams, identified these individuals participating in the fraud scheme, including NYS DMV security personnel, an external test-taker, facilitators, runners, and lookouts. Conspiring CDL applicants paid facilitators between $1,800-$2,500 in return for CDL exam answers and escort assistance through the DMV processes. Fraud schemes included the use of pencils with encoded miniaturized test answers, the use of a Bluetooth headset as a communication device to relay CDL test answers, and the use of an external test-taker positioned nearby to take the exams. Undercover law enforcement personnel, deployed as CDL applicants, met with key targets on multiple occasions at various DMV centers. In many instances, the in-person meetings included payment of fees to facilitators.

DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with assistance from the Department of Homeland Security, New York City Police Department, NYC DMV Investigations, NYS-Attorney General’s Office, and NYS-OIG.