SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A former licensing registration examiner for the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) was sentenced Friday to 46 months in prison and ordered to pay a $7,500 fine for participating in a bribery conspiracy that enabled unqualified individuals to obtain driver’s licenses.
Andrew Kimura, 31, of Sacramento, worked in the DMV’s Sacramento office where he processed applications for commercial and non‑commercial driver’s licenses. Kimura was convicted of conspiring with others and accepting bribes to obtain commercial driver’s licenses for individuals who had not taken or passed the necessary DMV examinations.
Kimura’s co-defendants, who owned and operated truck driving schools, acted as brokers to assist individuals in obtaining driver’s licenses. The co-defendants paid Kimura to access the DMV’s computer database and alter individuals’ electronic DMV records to fraudulently and incorrectly indicate applicants had passed examinations for commercial and non-commercial licenses, or had fulfilled the requirements for renewals. As a result, the DMV issued licenses to unqualified individuals.
The charges were the result of a multiagency probe involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ Investigations Division, Office of Internal Affairs.
“California and every other state require drivers to prove they have a basic understanding of the rules of the road and an ability to safely operate a vehicle,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert. “Kimura violated the public’s trust for his own personal gain when he circumvented this process and gave unqualified people licenses to drive on the nation’s roads and highways. We remain committed to working with our federal and state law enforcement partners to prosecute such fraud.”
“The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) takes fraud and illegal activity very seriously and it is not tolerated. This case is just one example of the extraordinary work performed by DMV Investigations to ensure the safety of the motoring public,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. "One of our priorities is to continually look at new ways to safeguard against fraud.”
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.
Charges are still pending against co-defendants Pavitar Dosangh “Peter” Singh, 59, of Turlock, Mangal Gill, 56, of San Ramon, and Robert Turchin, 66, of Salinas. They are scheduled for a status conference Sept. 23.
The charges against them are only allegations; they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
On Aug. 11, 2015, DMV employee Emma Klem, 46, of Salinas and truck driving school owner Kulwinder Dosanjh “Sodhi” Singh pleaded guilty. Both are scheduled for a status conference in February 2017.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Todd Pickles and Rosanne L. Rust are prosecuting the cases.