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Document and Benefit Fraud

Nevada DMV employee charged with bribery following ICE probe

LAS VEGAS - An employee with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has been charged with bribery for accepting thousands of dollars to provide driver's licenses to illegal aliens who were not entitled to them following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Nevada DMV.

Nancy Brown, 28, of Las Vegas, is charged in a criminal complaint with federal program bribery. Brown was arrested May 5 in Las Vegas and appeared Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley, Jr., who released her on a personal recognizance bond.

The complaint was filed April 29 and unsealed Friday.

"Public corruption can affect everything from how well our borders are secured and our neighborhoods protected, to the quality of our roads and schools," said Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden. "We will continue to work in conjunction with local and state authorities to prosecute and send to prison persons who commit these types of crimes."

According to the complaint, in September 2010 the Chief of Nevada DMV's Compliance Enforcement Division received information from an unnamed individual that two persons had fraudulently received Nevada driver's licenses through a suspected DMV employee. Federal and state authorities began an investigation and determined that Brown, a DMV technician, allegedly sold authentic Nevada driver's licenses to individuals who were not entitled to the licenses, primarily illegal aliens. The individuals paid between $1,700 and $3,000 for the licenses.

The illegal aliens were instructed to go to the DMV on E. Sahara and sit in the lobby area near Brown's application station. Brown would then motion the customers to her station and complete the fraudulent paperwork. The customers did not provide or produce any identity documents or proof of eligibility to Brown. Brown processed the transactions and collected the required DMV fees, then directed the customers to the camera station where they received their temporary licenses. The complaint alleges Brown processed 187 fraudulent Nevada driver's license applications.

"ICE HSI is very concerned with criminal activity that allows individuals who may not be in this country lawfully to obtain legitimate U.S. identity documents," said Angel Marcial, assistant special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Las Vegas. "Trafficking in counterfeit documents poses a serious security vulnerability, one that often contributes to a host of other crimes - including identity theft and financial fraud. HSI is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to detect, investigate and dismantle this type of activity."

This ongoing investigation is being conducted by ICE HSI and the Nevada DMV. The charges are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Dickinson.

The public is reminded that a criminal complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.