Last week, the owner of a California truck driving school was sentenced to prison for his part in scheme to sell Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL) to drivers who did not earn them.
On June 12, 56 year old Paramjit Singh Mangat was sentenced to 14 months in prison and a $10,000 fine after he was convicted on a charge of unlawful production of an identification document and aiding and abetting, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of California.
The court also ordered the forfeiture of $100,000 that had been earned through the CDL scheme.
Authorities say that Mangat operated truck driver training schools in Bakersfield, including the Akal Truck Driving School and Akal Driving School.
As part of the scheme, whenever a student struggled to pass the DMV tests, Mangat would allegedly offer to help the student fraudulently procure a CDL in exchange for money.
The scheme was accomplished with help from Mangat’s contact, 56 year old Javier Jesus Hernandez-Herrera, a former DMV employee.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office details the scheme:
According to court documents, from approximately June 2012 through Aug. 24, 2016, Mangat conspired with Herrera, then a Licensing Registration Examiner at a DMV office in Bakersfield. In return for monetary payment, Herrera agreed to access the students’ DMV records and alter the records to reflect that the individual had passed DMV written and/or behind-the-wheel examinations, when, in fact, the individual had not passed one or more required DMV tests. Herrera’s alteration of the records resulted in the DMV issuing a California driver’s license and mailing it to that individual.
Herrera pled guilty in November 2019 and faces up to 15 years and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in August 2020.