Contact: Office of Public Affairs
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2013
SACRAMENTO -With the help of very observant and diligent Bay Area Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) field office employees, DMV investigators were able to arrest a group of individuals that DMV dubbed "The Crew of 7." Beginning in September of 2010 Daly City DMV field office employees reported to DMV Investigators that a group of seven individuals continuously submitted registration paperwork that didn't belong to them, which was considered highly suspicious.
"We are extremely proud of our field office staff who took the initiative to bring these criminals to justice," said Chief Deputy Director Jean Shiomoto. "Let this be a lesson to anyone who tries to cheat the system, we have loyal and highly trained staff that are always on the look-out for fraudulent activity."
It is alleged that the "Crew of 7" led by Donald Lee 52, of San Francisco would solicit individuals who had problematic registration issues, such as past due fees, parking tickets, etc. Lee and his "crew" allegedly offered their services by telling them that they could get the vehicles registered for half the cost of the actual registration. They would then present an allegedly stolen personal check to the DMV which would ultimately be returned as issued against closed accounts while Lee and his group would pocket the fees paid by the victims. The DMV would subsequently put a stop on the vehicle registration when the check was dishonored by the bank. This scheme was ultimately performed at several Bay Area field offices with losses to the DMV in excess of $50,000.
With the assistance of DMV field office staff, DMV investigators were able to apprehend six of the "Crew of 7" through the course of the past year. Lee was arrested on February 6, 2013, when he was spotted by DMV employees trying to register another vehicle in the Daly City DMV field office.
Lee was charged with 32 felonies of conspiracy, commercial burglary, forgery, theft by false pretenses among other charges. He was booked at the San Mateo County jail.
DMV's Investigations Division enhances consumer protection including auto and identity-related fraud, car dealers, driving schools, traffic violator schools and other DMV occupational licensees, as well as internal affairs investigations.
Don't Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Website including online advance appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions. Customers can also effect transactions by calling DMV customer service at (800) 777-0133. DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.