November 9, 2017
California DMV Employees Charged with Coconspirators in CDL Scheme
On November 9 and November 16, 2017, respectively, the U.S. District Court, Sacramento, California, issued one information and three indictments related to a conspiracy to produce or obtain fraudulent commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). The following individuals were charged: Donald Freeman, Jr., Juan Arturo Arroyo Gomez, and Shawana Denise Harris; Jagpal Singh, Jagdish Singh, Tajinder Singh, and Parminder Singh; Ruvila Lima and Poya Khanjan; and Rahim Mahboob. Coconspirators Lisa Terraciano and Kari Scattaglia pleaded guilty on November 1, 2017.
Freeman, Harris, Terraciano, and Scattaglia were employees of the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which issues various classes of CDLs. Classes A and B permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate and intrastate commerce, and Class C permits the transport of hazardous materials.
According to a November 9, 2017, information, from July 2016 and through May 2017, Gomez allegedly paid Freeman to access and alter DMV database records to fraudulently show passing scores for individuals who had not taken the written test. In addition, three indictments were issued on November 16, 2017, and alleged the following:
- From September 2014 through June 2017, Jagpal Singh, owner of Calcutta Truck School in Los Angeles, California, and Parminder Singh, a school employee; Jagdish Singh, owner of Gobind Truck School in Los Angeles; and Tajinder Singh, a trucking company owner in Southern California bribed DMV employees to access and alter records in the DMV’s database. Jagdish Singh and Tajinder Singh conspired with and paid Harris to obtain commercial permits for applicants who had not taken the written CDL test. Parminder Singh also received a fraudulent Class A CDL.
- From September 2015 through July 2017, Mahboob, a resident of Los Angeles, paid Terraciano to access and alter DMV database records to fraudulently indicate that individuals had passed written examinations for Class A, Class B, and Class C CDLs.
- From July 2016 through June 2017, Lima and Khanjan solicited payments from students and others seeking to avoid taking the written CDL examinations. Lima and Khanjan then conspired with Gomez and Freeman to acquire commercial driving permits for individuals who had not taken the written exam and paid money to Freeman to access and alter DMV database records.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California DMV.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.