Investigations

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Two Florida Men Plead Guilty for Their Part in CDL Fraud Scheme Involving Florida DMV Clerk

On March 11, Sergeui Leon and Eric Hernandez–Suarez pled guilty in U.S. District Court, Tampa, Florida, to wire fraud. Mr. Leon and Mr. Hernandez–Suarez were arrested, along with Gustavo Soler (aka Tao) and Santos Alamo, in January 2008, for their role in a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) fraud scheme. Specifically, the DOT/OIG investigation disclosed that the subjects conspired to pay bribes to Yolanda Pippins, an employee of the Florida Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) whose responsibility was to monitor CDL applicants and ensure their qualifications before she issued a CDL. Once Ms. Pippins received a monetary bribe, she used her employment position to fraudulently issue CDLs to individuals who did not have the requisite training and documentation to support their qualifications.

Ms. Pippins pled guilty on August 11, 2006, to conspiracy to accept bribes in exchange for the issuance of fraudulent CDLs. The State DMV sent letters to all 144 individuals who obtained CDLs via Ms. Pippins asking that these individuals return to the DMV to ensure that the applications were processed properly or else have their CDL revoked. Subsequently, 139 CDLs were revoked. This investigation was conducted jointly with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles.