The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado has secured a plea bargain from a man who is under investigation for his alleged involvement in a fraudulent driver license scheme, reported the Rocky Mountain News.
The investigation has so far led to the arrest of two Colorado motor vehicle employees. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Taylor said that investigators have reason to believe as many as five fraudulent driver licenses and CDLs over three years may have been issued, and that more motor vehicle officials may have been involved, reported Rocky Mountain News.
Juan Pablo Beltran, who has agreed to the plea bargain, was arrested for allegedly serving as a middleman to Northglenn DMV official Janet Gonzales. Investigators had monitored Gonzales accepting $2,000 worth of transactions between July and August of 2004 allegedly to provide an illegal alien with a driver license.
According to a separate affidavit, former driver license examiner Virginia Villegas accepted $400 to issue a CDL to an illegal alien who had failed the required testing. Authorities have identified a “high number of suspicious transactions” issued by Villegas over the course of four years. She was charged with attempt and conspiracy to commit fraud related to identification documents, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine.
“Over the past five years, we have participated in the investigation and prosecution of CDL fraud schemes in 21 states,” said Kenneth M. Mead, inspector general for the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. “During that period, over 75 multi-agency investigations have found more than 8,000 CDLs issued to drivers who obtained their CDLs through corrupt state or state-approved testing processes.”