|For Immediate Release
Case # 11NF2506
August 19, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DMV EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH ACCEPTING MONEY IN EXCHANGE FOR FALSIFYING OFFICIAL RECORDS FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSES
SANTA ANA – An employee of the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has been charged with altering driver’s license records and issuing commercial licenses to individuals who had not passed the required written and driving tests in exchange for money. Michelle Carbajal, 37, Fullerton, is charged with 19 felony counts of altering public documents and 19 felony counts of computer access and fraud. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 22 years in state prison. She is being held on $100,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
Carbajal was an employee at the Fullerton office of the DMV and is accused of having access to and the ability to alter driver’s license records through her work.
Between June 10, 2009, and April 27, 2010, Carbajal is accused of accepting money from 12 individuals in exchange for unlawfully altering their driver’s license records. She is accused marking in the records of the 12 individuals that they had passed both the written and driving tests to obtain a commercial license. Some of these tests were safety-related including proper use of specialized brakes, proper pulling of double trailers, the ability to drive semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles, among other skills. None of the 12 individuals had passed any of the tests.
In some instances, Carbajal is accused of altering the records on one day and in other cases she is accused of altering the records on multiple days. After altering the records to falsely represent that the tests had been passed, Carbajal is accused of issuing commercial licenses to the 12 individuals.
She is accused of altering the records for these 12 individuals, who were referred to her through a third party or parties, who are unidentified at this time. In all, the 12 purchasers paid $23,000. It is unclear at this time how much Carbajal fraudulently accepted and how much was paid to the unidentified third party/parties.
The DMV Investigation Division began investigating this case after her supervisor become suspicious of her conduct at work. The DMV then turned over their investigative findings to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA). Carbajal was arrested today, Aug. 19, 2011, by DMV investigators.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information related to the identity or identities of the unidentified third party/parties is encouraged to leave a message on the OCDA’s Special Investigations Hotline at (714) 347-8544.
Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.