DMV Internal Affairs Arrests Employee on Fraud Charges

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
December 8, 2006




Sacramento—A 4-person team of investigators from the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles arrested a two-year employee in the Carmichael DMV office this afternoon and have charged her with altering the department’s computer records so she could allegedly process driver license applications for applicants who did not have to take properly administered written knowledge tests and/or driving skills exams.

DMV Internal Affairs officers have identified the suspect as 29-year old Sabrina Ann Escobar who worked as a motor vehicle field representative in the suburban Sacramento County office since 2004. She is specifically charged with 15 counts of altering computer records (Govt. Code 6200), two felony counts of grand theft  (487 pc), 1 count of felony criminal conspiracy (182 (a)(1) pc),  one felony count of computer crimes (502 pc), one felony count of embezzlement (504 pc) and one misdemeanor count of receiving/concealing stolen property (496 (a) pc).

California State Deputy Attorney General Keith Lyon is pursuing the case against Escobar on behalf of DMV. She was taken into custody without incident at the Carmichael office at 1:30 p.m. and was booked into the Sacramento County Jail on a $45,000 bond. She remains in custody at this time.

“It disappoints me to learn that an employee entrusted with personal information has broken faith with the public,” said DMV Director George Valverde. “But the fact is that our investigators have the systems, the experience and the know-how to root out employee fraud very quickly, and when we find it we put a stop to it immediately. We absolutely intend to prosecute every case of employee misconduct to the fullest extent of the law."

Valverde said that the DMV Office of Internal Affairs (OIA) can now track every employee customer transaction, and if any of them don’t match up with the proper profile, those transactions are then called into question and an investigation is launched —often with undercover officers involved.

Escobar is alleged to have processed over 60 fraudulent licenses over the past four months, issuing them to customers who did not take the necessary exams.

A search warrant of her Sacramento-area home turned up various official DMV documents, receipts, papers and stacks of temporary operating permits. OIA investigators interviewed numerous persons, including neighbors of Escobar, who were sold temporary operating permits over a 4-month time frame. Investigators say she allegedly sold the fraudulent documents for as much as $800.00 each.

The arrest warrant for Escobar states that she allegedly inputted phony license numbers on the DMV database so the “applicants” wouldn’t have to take drive tests. Investigators say she also drastically reduced the amount of time she’d spend administering the written knowledge test to some “customers”—both processes that are easily tracked.

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