Driver s License Fraud Investigation Leads to Arrest of DMV Employee

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: Mike Marando, Steve Haskins, Armando Botello, Mike Miller
October 26, 2006




Sacramento—The California Department of Motor Vehicles today arrested DMV employee Millicent Denise Peterson on six counts of sales of fraudulent California Driver Licenses.

Peterson, 44, of Santa Ana, a seven-year employee at the Santa Ana Field Office, was arrested after arriving at work at 8 a.m., by DMV Internal Affairs and U.S. Postal Inspectors.  The arrest was the result of a months-long, multi-agency investigation by special agents from the DMV and the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

“It’s disappointing, but the DMV will not hesitate to take immediate action when we suspect there is illegal activity at one of our offices,” said DMV Director George Valverde. “We are committed to ensuring the security of driver licenses in California. Today’s action reflects that commitment.”

Peterson is a Motor Vehicle Field Representative (MVFR) whose duties include the review and approval of applications for California Driver Licenses (CDLs) and California Identification Cards. With the assistance of unknown co-conspirators, Peterson allegedly sold genuine duplicate Driver Licenses to people who were not eligible to have a California Driver License.

Peterson was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

According to documents, the DMV and USPIS had been working an investigation which involved an alleged  scheme to defraud the State in connection with several individuals.  Four of the suspects have already been arrested and were identified as fraudulent applicants who received their stolen identities from Peterson.  The aforementioned individuals were also identified as suspects in the case.  The U.S. Postal Inspector and DMV Investigators met to compare files and identified a nexus to each of their cases.

If convicted, Peterson faces a maximum penalty of $250,000 per count and up to 42 years in prison.

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