DMV Announces Multiple Arrest in Two Enforcement Actions
Office of Public Affairs
2415 First Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95814
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2011
Los Angeles — The California Department of Motor Vehicles conducted two enforcement activities that resulted in the arrests of five individuals, including two former department employees. Arrests in both cases were carried out earlier today.
Below are capsule summaries on each case:
DMV Dismantles Fraudulent Driver License/Identification Card Scheme
During an investigation of the fraudulent production of fake driver licenses and identification cards, three men were arrested earlier today for the following: Todd Terrazas, 24, of West Hollywood, on one count of cultivation of Marijuana under California Health & Safety Code Section 11358(A) as investigators seized over 100 Marijuana plants; Lawrence Benjamin Goldstein, 22, of Los Angeles, on one count of forgery under California Penal Code Section 472; and Peter Scott Singer, 26, of Monrovia, who was detained and released with additional investigation pending. Terrazas was held on $30,000 bail, Goldstein $20,000.
The investigation and arrests in this case were conducted by the DMV's Investigation Division, assisted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and the Los Angeles Police Department.
"Those who attempt to counterfeit and sell driver licenses unlawfully jeopardize everyone's safety. We will continue to aggressively prosecute anyone who engage in these activities," said George Valverde, Director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. "I applaud the work of the DMV Investigations Division, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and the Los Angeles Police Department."
The arrests were carried out this morning, as search warrants were served at four locations: Monrovia, Venice, West Hollywood, and San Marino. Investigators seized computer equipment, printers, and other evidence of a counterfeit operation millhouse.
"The practice of using fake IDs is constantly evolving and getting more sophisticated. From a homeland security perspective, this is a threat to not only public safety, but national security. The illegal operation we shut down was putting dangerous drivers on the road and endangering the public," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
The enforcement operation culminated an eight-month investigation into the unlawful manufacturing of government documents in the area.
Attention news desk editors: Jose Martinez, DMV Supervising Investigator, is available for interviews and comment at (213) 744-7591.
Former Employees Arrested For Fraudulent Activities
In a separate action, investigators from DMV's Internal Affairs Branch apprehended two former DMV employees on multiple counts of criminal misconduct for unlawfully processing and selling unauthorized driver licenses.
Arrested were Carlos Ku, 28, of Los Angeles, who worked for the DMV for six years as an employee of the Santa Monica field office, and, Alejandro Rubalcava, 31, of Bellflower a former employee of four years with the Hawthorne field office.
Both suspects were charged with alleged computer crimes related to processing, issuing and selling of driver licenses to individuals who did not legitimately possess legal presence documentation and did not legally pass drive test requirements. The criminal complaint is being filed by the Los Angles County District Attorney Office for alleged crimes involving fraudulent processing of approximately eight drivers licenses.
DMV investigators discovered that the former employees were allegedly working with a "middle man," who conspired to sell driver licenses to customers willing to pay for written and/or drive tests. DMV's investigation revealed the subjects, while employed with the department, accessed the DMV database and entered fraudulent information to circumvent legal presence and testing requirements. These acts occurred on or about July 2009 to January 2010. The method utilized by the employees to compromise the DMV system has been identified and fraud mitigations steps are in place.
Both suspects were arrested in their respective homes by DMV Internal Affairs Investigators and are currently being held in two Los Angeles county jails.
Attention news desk editors: Media requests can be made through DMV Internal Affairs Commander Lilia Duarte, Contact number: (916) 657-8377
The DMV is committed to protecting its database and the integrity of its documents through various audits and investigative methods. Through dedicated staff, the DMV's Investigations Division's Internal Affairs Branch, conducts criminal investigations into all allegations of employee misconduct.
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