Indian American Kulwinder Dosanjh “Sodhi” Singh, 61, the owner of a truck-driving school in Modesto, California, has been sentenced to 19 months in prison after pleading guilty to his role in a DMV bribery and identity fraud scheme.
According to the Department of Justice’s U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento, Singh plead guilty along with former California Department of Motor Vehicles employee Emma Klem, 48, to conspiracy to commit bribery and identity fraud as they had conspired to obtain commercial driver’s licenses for individuals who had not taken or passed the necessary DMV examinations in return for monetary payments and produced identification documents without lawful authority.
According to a Modesto Bee report, Singh’s plea was more than three years ago, at which time he said that he did help a driver obtain a commercial trucking license illegally in 2013, though the DOJ press release says that he “acted as a broker to assist individuals in obtaining Class A, Class B, and Class C licenses.”
The press release adds that Singh’s case is one in a series of prosecutions and that in 2011, the FBI began an investigation into a pattern involving the fraudulent issuance of commercial driver’s licenses to people who had not taken or passed the written or behind-the-wheel driving examinations, the Modesto Bee reported.
In 2012, Homeland Security Investigations began a probe of itself involving individuals engaged in similar practices in the Stockton area of California.
The same year, the DMV began an investigation involving individuals in the Salinas area engaged in the same fraudulent activity.
All in all, a total of 26 people have been charged federally in the investigations, out of which 11 were DMV employees while the rest were driving school owners or brokers, according to a press release.