The final domino has fallen in a federal criminal case accusing 20 people, including California Department of Motor Vehicles employees, of a CDL fraud scheme.
A federal judge in California recently sentenced Shawana Harris to 60 months in prison for her role in a CDL fraud scheme. Harris was found guilty of one charge of conspiracy to commit bribery after reaching a plea agreement in April.
Harris is one of 20 defendants named in a criminal complaint alleging a CDL fraud scheme between a California DMV location and a trucking company. All defendants have reached plea agreements and have been sentenced.
CDL fraud scheme involves DMV employees
The CDL fraud scheme involved owners of truck driving schools and DMV employees colluding to pass CDL applicants on their test despite the applicants never taking the exam.
According to court documents, from September 2014 to April 2017 owners of truck driving schools in Southern California paid DMV employees Kari Scattaglia and Lisa Terraciano to pass their CDL applicants without having to take the written and behind-the-wheel exams. Subsequently, the two DMV employees would access the agency’s database and alter the applicants’ records to incorrectly reflect passed examinations.
The owners of the truck driving schools – Jagdish, Jagpal, Parminder Singh and Tajinder Singh – received at least $18,600 to have DMV records altered. In multiple undercover operations, agents posing as truckers were told by the owners they could pay from $1,500 to $9,000 to obtain a Class A CDL permit or license.
Scattaglia told FBI agents that she received $200 for each passed written exam for the CDL fraud scheme. She also received $500 for each behind-the-wheel exam. Meanwhile, Terraciano told agents she received $100 for each written exam.
In total, Scattaglia issued at least 68 fraudulent licenses in the scheme. Meanwhile, Terraciano estimated she issued approximately 60 fraudulent licenses a month, totaling to about 148 fraudulent licenses.
Additionally, Rahim Mahboob was charged in November 2017 with several counts for allegedly contacting and paying Terraciano to commit CDL fraud by altering the computer records.
Ruvila Lima and Poya Khanjan also were charged in November 2017 in a separate indictment for similar charges related to the scheme.
Lima was an employee at a truck driving school and solicited students to give her money in exchange for CDLs without taking the appropriate tests.
Similarly, Khanjan shared a bank account with Lima and also was accused of offering students CDLs without tests in exchange for money.
Subsequently, Donald Freeman and Juan Arturo Arroyo Gomez were indicted a few days prior. Freeman was a DMV employee who accessed the DMV’s database to commit CDL fraud. Arroyo Gomez was the middleman between Lima or Khanhan and Freeman within the scheme.
In another separate indictment, Jagpal, Jagdish, Tajinder, Parminder and Harris were charged. Jagpal owned Calcutta Truck School, and Jagdish owned Gobind Truck School. Tajinder owned another trucking school, Parminder worked for Calcutta Truck School, and Harris was a DMV employee.
In separate but related CDL fraud cases, Kulwinder Dosanjh Singh, Pavitar Dosangh Singh, Andrew Kimura and Emma Klem were all indicted on charges in July 2015 for their role in the CDL fraud scheme.
Kulwinder Dosanjh Singh and Pavitar Dosangh Singh were the two owners of the truck driving schools. Kimura and Klem were co-conspirators at the DMV.
Defendants found guilty and sentenced include:
- Shawana Harris – 60 months
- Robert Turchin – 51 months
- Mangal Gill – 51 months
- Andrew Kimura – 46 months, $7,500 fine
- Lisa Terraciano – 40 months, $500 fine
- Jagpal Singh – 39 months
- Donald Freeman – 37 months
- David Sun – 37 months
- Kari Scattaglia – 32 months, $1,000 fine
- Rahim Mahboob – 27 months, $58,500 fine
- Damanpreet Singh – 24 months
- Emma Klem – 23 months
- Aaron Gilliam – 22 months
- Kulwinder Dosangh Singh – 19 months
- Juan Arturo Arroyo Gomez – 12 months
- Pavitar Dosangh Singh – 10 months
- Parminder Singh – time served, 11 months home confinement
- Poya Khanjan – time served, six months home confinement, $9,500 fine
- Ruvila Lima – time served, $500 fine
- Tajinder Singh – time served, seven months home confinement, $5,500 fine.
Indictments alleging CDL fraud against all defendants were filed in 2017. LL