Driving Away Fraud

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36419238 - judge about to bang gavel on sounding block in the court room

Once in awhile, bribes can be considered beneficial, as long as they are not illegal and they don’t harm anyone. For instance, parents have been known to hand out candy or money rewarding their children’s positive behavior. (This might be questionable for some, but who doesn’t like a little incentive here and there?) Bribery becomes a bad thing when a gift or money is exchanged in a dishonest manner, involving another person in an illegal act. An article in the Times of San Diego mentions that a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) worker accepted money in exchange for falsifying the results of driving exams. (That’s just what we need – more bad drivers.)

The story states that the former DMV employee is the next to last defendant to enter a guilty plea in this case where 31 people were involved. This particular man’s folly came when he processed a fraudulent driver’s license for an undercover agent. (You’ll have to read the article to see what he told the recipient. Apparently, he thought he was God.) This fraudulent license was just one of more than 100 he processed over a three-year period of time. (The article reports that he actually collected more than $50,000 in bribes for his efforts.)

The defendant must have been overly confident about his bribery skills. He actually tried to influence a witness to change their testimony prior to his trial. (As you can guess, he didn’t get away with it.) He ended up pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and produce unauthorized identification documents, bribery and witness tampering.

While other defendants received sentences ranging from probation and fines to nearly two years in prison, this 54-year-old fraudster got three years in prison for his illegal acts. (More than anyone else so far.)

This guy obviously made a wrong turn at some point in his career and followed the road to a life of crime. For the next three years, this guy isn’t going to be driving anywhere except to the federal penitentiary. The only things issued there will be an orange jump suit and a prison identification number. (He obviously doesn’t have a need for a driver’s license anymore.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”DMV Worker Sentenced to 3 Years for License Fraud,” posted by Chris Jennewein and published by the Times of San Diego on September 6, 2014.

A former employee at the El Cajon office of the state Department of Motor Vehicles was sentenced Friday to three years in federal prison for accepting money to falsify the results of driving examinations.

Jeffrey Bednarek became the 30th of 31 defendants in the federal case to enter guilty pleas and be sentenced, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.