Former PennDOT examiner pleads guilty to selling CDLs

| 2/28/2002

A former Pennsylvania driver's license examiner has pleaded guilty to fraudulently selling licenses in exchange for bribes. The former examiner faces 18 to 24 months in federal prison.

Robert Ferrari struck a deal with prosecutors because he cooperated with federal agents in the investigation of 20 Middle Eastern men who bought bogus CDLs and permits to haul hazardous materials. After Sept. 11, Ferrari provided information about the men. Authorities immediately detained them out of fear they might be terrorists, but have since determined the men with bogus licenses were not connected to terrorism.

The investigation began in March 2000, when officials in Washington state told federal agents two men claiming to have Pennsylvania CDLs were trying to trade them for Washington licenses. A records check showed the men did not have valid Pennsylvania licenses. The Pennsylvania attorney general later determined Ferrari had sold licenses.

Ferrari pleaded guilty to five counts of producing bogus licenses and accepted responsibility for the other 15 sold to the Middle Eastern men. As part of his plea, Ferrari admitted in state court his guilt to tampering with public records and unlawful use of a computer for selling 56 licenses. Under the federal court plea, his state prison sentence will be served at the same time as his federal term. His sentencing is scheduled to be May 10.