More than $100,000 in bribes were paid to DMV employees at the El Cajon and Rancho San Diego offices as part of a scheme to win fraudulent driver’s licenses, authorities said Monday.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said a manager who supervises the licensing registration examiners at the Department of Motor Vehicles office in El Cajon was charged in a criminal complaint for being involved in a bribery conspiracy.
The case “resulted in the production of fraudulent driver licenses for applicants who had failed—or not taken—the required driver license tests,” according to an FBI news release.
Court documents indicate Jesse Mario Bryan supervised DMV officials responsible for conducting driving tests for driver license applicants, including Jim Lynn Bean and Jeffrey Bednarek, who were charged in a criminal indictment in May 2012 in a related case.
Agents with the FBI and DMV’s Investigations Division arrested the suspects earlier Monday.
The complaint also alleges that Alexander Gonzalez recruited applicants who would pay for fraudulently obtained driver licenses, the FBI said.
According to the complaint, Frank Tom Attiq, Ali Al Nadawi, Saleh Almuzini, Matthew Allan Elliott, Mohamed Alali, James Lester Shaw and Hassan Hamad Althami are applicants who paid bribes to receive fraudulent driver licenses by paying recruiters who “brokered the corrupt deals for fraudulent licenses by getting money from the applicants and paying the bribes to the DMV employees,” the FBI said in a statement.
The complaint alleges that from December 2010 through April 2012, Bryan supervised employees at both at the El Cajon DMV office—at 1450 Graves Ave.—and the Rancho San Diego DMV office at 1901 Jamacha Road.
The suspect employees falsely entered both “passing” written and “passing” driving test scores for applicants in exchange for bribes ranging from $75 to $600 per license, the FBI said.
In May 2012, 21 defendants (four of whom were DMV officials) were charged in an indictment with conspiracy to commit bribery and to produce unauthorized identification documents.
The complaint alleges that the DMV employees accepted bribes paid by these applicants despite the obvious public safety risk posed, the FBI said.
“Applicants seeking Commercial Class A licenses (produced at the Rancho San Diego DMV) typically paid recruiters $2,500-$3,000,” the FBI said.
“Commercial Class A driver licenses allow the licensee to drive commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds, which can cause enormous harm to the public if operated incorrectly by an unqualified driver.”
The FBI said that, increasing the danger to the public, DMV employees entered false passing test scores that allowed applicants to fraudulently obtain additional certifications for the operation of the commercial vehicles, such as transporting hazardous materials or towing multiple trailers.
Defendants were expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge David H. Bartick at 1:30 p.m.
Defendants in Magistrate Case No. 13MJ0475-DHB:
- Jesse Mario Bryan, age 36
- Alexander Gonzalez, age 43
- Frank Tom Attiq, age 33
- Ali Al Nadawi, age 48
- Saleh Almuzini, age 20
- Matthew Allan Elliott, age 39
- Mohamed Alali, age 20
- James Lester Shaw, age 44
- Hassan Hamad Althani, age 22