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Document and Benefit Fraud

Former MVA employee indicted for Maryland driver's license and ID card scam

BALTIMORE - A federal grand jury indicted April Bell, 35, of Parkville, Md., today for producing and transferring Maryland driver's licenses and identification cards without lawful authority, announced U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland  Rod J. Rosenstein. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) helped investigate the case.

According to the five count indictment, Bell worked at the Mondawmin Mall branch of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and was permitted to issue identification documents, such as Maryland driver's licenses.  The indictment alleges that from July 2007 to January 2008, other conspirators contacted prospective MVA identification document applicants and telephoned Bell to inform her of such applicants.  Upon arrival at the Mondawmin Mall branch of the MVA, the conspirators contacted Bell by telephone or text message with a physical description of the prospective applicants.  Bell allegedly processed applications by scanning false information into the MVA database or by inventing false driver's license information from other states.  Bell also allegedly failed to administer required tests to such applicants. 

As a result of this scheme and in return for money, Bell unlawfully produced and transferred more than 20 Maryland identification documents.

Bell faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy and 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for producing and transferring fraudulent identification documents.  Bell is scheduled to have her initial appearance in federal district court in Baltimore on Sept. 4, 2009 at 11:00 a.m.

In a related case, another former MVA employee at the Mondawmin Mall branch and a translator for foreign-born applicants seeking a Maryland identification card was indicted on Aug. 13, 2009 on the same charges.  Former MVA employee Warren Hall, 46, of Parkville, had his initial appearance in court on Sept. 1, 2009, was released pending trial and is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 11, 2009.  The translator, Adalberto Benito Prins, 47, of Baltimore, has not been arrested and is still being sought. 

U. S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked ICE and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration - Investigation and Security Services Division for their investigative work.  Mr. Rosenstein also commended Assistant U. S. Attorney Sujit M. Raman, who is prosecuting the case.