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July 26, 2019Sacramento, CA, United StatesDocument and Benefit Fraud

2 California DMV employees convicted of bribery, identity fraud, unauthorized computer usage

Homeland Security Investigations repressed corruption involving DMV employees fraudulently issuing commercial licenses to unqualified drivers. The defendants worked in DMV offices in Arleta, Granada Hills and Winnetka.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Today, Kari Scattaglia, 40, of Sylmar, was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for a conspiracy to take bribes to provide Class A commercial driver licenses without the buyer having to take or pass the required tests

Scattaglia and another former DMV employee co-defendant Lisa Terraciano, 52, of North Hollywood, pleaded guilty, Nov. 3, 2017, to a conspiracy to commit bribery, to commit identity fraud, and to commit unauthorized access of a computer.

“Individuals in positions of trust who exploit federal and state law for personal gain pose a significant threat to public safety and national security,” said Jerry C. Templet Jr, Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (San Francisco and Northern California). “HSI will continue working with our local, state, and federal partners to investigate these types of public corruption cases and bring those responsible to justice.”

According to court documents, since April 2007, Scattaglia worked at the DMV. Between 2014 and 2017, she was a manager, assistant manager, and a Licensing-Registration Examiner (LRE) at the Arleta DMV and the Granada Hills Driver License Processing Center. Terraciano worked for the DMV since June 2005 and was a Motor Vehicle Representative (MVR) in the Winnetka DMV office from 2014 through 2017. Among other things, Scattaglia and Terraciano were responsible for processing applications for California commercial driver licenses (CDLs). A CDL is required to drive passenger buses and to operate tractor-trailer trucks on California and interstate highways, including, in some cases, transporting hazardous materials.

In exchange for money, Scattaglia and Terraciano each accessed the DMV’s database in Sacramento to alter the records of applicants to fraudulently show that the applicants had passed the required written tests when, in truth, the applicants had not passed the tests or, at times, even taken the written tests. In so doing, this caused the DMV to issue permits to those drivers as well as issue completed CDLs upon the applicants’ passing the behind-the-wheel driving tests. In addition, Scattaglia also accessed the DMV database to fraudulently alter applicants’ records to show that the applicants had passed the driving tests despite the applicants not having taken or passed those tests.

According to the plea agreements, Scattaglia caused at least 68 fraudulent CDLs, including permits, to be issued, and Terraciano caused at least 148 fraudulent CDLs, including permits, to be issued.

Terraciano is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr., Sept. 27, 2019. Terraciano faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.