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Document and Benefit Fraud

Fresno man pleads guilty in California driver's license fraud scheme

FRESNO, Calif. – A Fresno man pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to conspiring to unlawfully produce California driver's licenses, following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Investigations Division, Office of Internal Affairs.

According to court documents, Yadwinder Singh, 50, recruited recipients in a scheme to sell fraudulently obtained commercial driver's licenses. Singh would pass on information he obtained from potential recipients to former DMV technician Alfonso Casarez, who then proceeded to alter the electronic DMV records to make it appear as though the recipients had passed the required written and behind-the-wheel tests, causing the DMV to automatically issue a genuine license.

Singh found his clients by waiting outside the Fresno DMV offices and approaching DMV visitors with an offer to assist them in obtaining commercial licenses without the need to pass the required tests. Another of his recruiting methods involved having clients complete a DMV application and receiving rudimentary instruction from Singh in operating a commercial truck. Upon giving Singh a substantial "tuition" payment, participants would be informed they had passed. A portion of that payment would go to Casarez, who would facilitate the unlawful issuance of the license.

Singh is schedule to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill Oct. 29. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Henry Z. Carbajal, III and Grant B. Rabenn.