Three participants in a fraudulent driver's license scheme
in Washington have been sentenced only days after the state announced plans to
overhaul its license testing procedures.
Post-Intelligencer reported Wednesday, March 8, that three Washington
residents conspired to arrange for a driver's license scheme by which Brazilian
nationals would pay $2,000 each to Mauro Martins in order to obtain Washington
Mauro Martins, a citizen of Brazil, was given a plea
agreement in November 2006 and was sentenced to serve six months in jail and
three years of probation by U.S. District Judge James Robart. In the plea deal,
Martins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud. The Post-Intelligencer reported that Martins will be deported rather
than complete the sentence.
Martins worked with Zagari Shunta Moore, 37, an employee of
the Washington Licensing Department, to issue fraudulent driver's licenses to
Brazilians who didn't live in Washington, the Post-Intelligencer stated. Washington state doesn't require
driver's license applicants to prove their legal residency in the United
Prosecutors said Martins flew Brazilians to Seattle from the
East Coast to obtain driver's licenses from Moore. An investigation led to
indictments last September by a federal grand jury.
On Monday, Land Line reported that Washington was changing its licensing procedures after audits of
the state's licensing department showed that some employees were approving
licenses faster than they could have tested applicants.
A spokesman for the state department told Land Line on Monday that Washington also
was changing its testing format prevent applicants from knowing which test
administrators would test them.
The FBI and Homeland Security Department are investigating
the actions of some employees who the state believes had made prior contact
with applicants, said Brad Benfield, a spokesman for the Washington Licensing
State officials believe as many as 651 CDL applicants may
have used false addresses, Benfield said.
reported that Moore was fired and will be sentenced this month, along with two
others who helped him.
Jackson Ronaldo Da Conceicao, of Boston, is reportedly
fighting extradition after being sentenced to serve 155 days in jail.
Martins' wife, Sonia Regina Hoffman, will serve six months
of house arrest and three years of probation for her role in the scheme.
- By Charlie Morasch,