Two people plead guilty in CDL fraud at California DMV

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, August 13, 2015

Two people have pleaded guilty in a CDL scheme that involved California Department of Motor Vehicles employees and a trucking school, according to court documents. Of the four others indicted for their role in the scheme, two have pleaded not guilty and two have not been arraigned yet.

Motor Vehicle Representative Emma Klem and trucking school owner Kulwinder Dosanjh Singh pleaded guilty on Tuesday for charges of bribery and identity fraud. Singh paid Klem to grant his students a CDL despite their not having the prerequisite driving and written tests. Two other DMV employees were also paid to fraudulently enter in applicant test results.

According to official court documents, two students seeking a CDL each paid either Kulwinder Dosanjh Singh or Pavitar Dosngh Singh a total of $5,000 for their illegal service. Others paid $1,500 or more to the trucking school. Co-defendant Mangal Gill acted as an intermediary between the trucking school and DMV employees Klem, Andrew Kimura and Robert Turchin.

Between April 1, 2015, and July 16, 2015, Kimura fraudulently altered DMV records for approximately 20 students at the trucking school. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of California, the total number of fraudulent CDLs received could exceed 100. Investigations are still ongoing. The scheme lasted from June 2011 to March 2015.

Klem and Sodhi Singh will be sentenced in November and face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. Pavitar Singh and Kimura pleaded not guilty on Aug. 7. Turchin and Gill will be arraigned on Aug. 14.

Investigations into the CDL scheme involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ Investigations Division, Office of Internal Affairs.

Attorneys for the defendants could not immediately be reached for comment.

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