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Document and Benefit Fraud

New Jersey man sentenced in cash scheme for driver's licenses

PHILDELPHIA - A New Jersey man was sentenced to federal prison on July 14 for his role in a fraudulent document scheme. Michel Lominy, 41, of Irvington, Penn., was sentenced to 48 months in prison for his role in a scheme to pay cash to state driver's license examiners in exchange for the issuance of driver's licenses. The charges are part of a two-year investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Attorney's Office into several illegal businesses that assisted illegal aliens, foreign nationals and others in obtaining driver's licenses, through fraudulent means, at various Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, or PennDOT, driver's license centers in Philadelphia. Lominy is one of 20 defendants charged in the scheme.

For nearly two years, Lominy, who resided in northern New Jersey, operated a corrupt business in the form of a driving school. As part of his business, Lominy assisted foreign nationals in obtaining fraudulent identification documents in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, including driver's licenses, state identification cards and U.S. passports. Starting in early-2009, Lominy began paying bribes to a PennDOT driver's license examiner in exchange for issuing licenses to Lominy's customers, even though the customers were ineligible.

Lominy also employed a corrupt interpreter who, instead of acting as an interpreter, assisted Lominy's customers in cheating on the written version of the Pennsylvania driver's license examination. Most of Lominy's customers hailed from Africa and the Caribbean. Lominy charged his customers between $1,600 and $2,000 in cash for a Pennsylvania driver's license. In total, Lominy obtained more than 100 fraudulent driver's licenses for his customers, giving them authentic but fraudulent identification documents and putting dozens of ineligible drivers on the roads and highways.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Berle M. Schiller ordered Lominy to pay a fine in the amount of $1,000.

The case was investigated ICE's Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force which includes or was assisted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the U. S. Department of Transportation - Office of Inspector General, the FBI and the Pennsylvania State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard J. Zack and David J. Ignall.