(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — A pair of Californians pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a scheme in which they conspired to bribe employees of the California Department of Motor Vehicles to give them a Class A commercial driver’s license without passing the required tests.
Emma Klem, a 45-year-old DMV employee, and Kulwinder Dosanjh Singh, a 58-year-old trucking school owner pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to commit bribery and to commit identity fraud. A new indictment unsealed on Friday charged two more trucking school owners and two additional DMV employees with conspiracy, bribery and fraud.
Court documents say that three truck driving school owners acted as brokers for individuals wanting a commercial driver’s license without passing the mandated tests, doing so by taking money from the individuals and using it to bribe DMV employees for access to the department’s computer database. They then submitted false information claiming that the tests had been properly completed.
“Public corrution is always a high priority for the U.S. Department of Justice,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California Benjamin Wagner said in a press release, “but our mission is particlularly crucial when the conduct not only violates the public trust, but endangers public safety.”
California DMV Chief Investigator Frank Alvarez noted that the department has already taken action to cancel or revoke a number of the incorrectly obtained licenses.
Court documents show that the number of improperly issued licenses could be over 100, and that an investigation is ongoing.
Klem and Singh are scheduled to be sentenced in November, and each faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.
Two of the additional defendants were arraigned last week, and the other two are scheduled for arraignment on Friday.
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