|For Immediate Release
Case # 11NF2506
July 6, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DMV EMPLOYEE RECEIVES 4-YEAR SENTENCE FOR ACCEPTING MONEY IN EXCHANGE FOR FALSIFYING OFFICIAL RECORDS FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSES
FULLERTON – An employee of the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) received a 4-year sentence today for 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, 38, Fullerton, pleaded guilty to a court offer April 18, 2012, to 21 felony counts of altering public documents and 21 felony counts of computer access and fraud. Carbajal’s 4-year sentence will be divided under the new statewide sentencing scheme and she will be ordered to serve 14 months in jail and two years and 10 months under mandatory supervision.
At the time of the crime, Carbajal was an employee at the Fullerton office of the DMV and had the ability to alter driver’s license records through her work.
Between Sept. 9, 2008, and April 27, 2010, Carbajal accepted money from 14 individuals in exchange for unlawfully altering their driver’s license records. These 14 individuals were referred to her through a third party or parties, who are unidentified at this time.
The defendant marked in the records of the 14 individuals that they had passed both the written and driving tests to obtain a commercial license. Carbajal’s actions endangered public safety, as 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 14 individuals had passed any of the tests.
In some instances, Carbajal altered the records on one day and in other cases altered the records on multiple days. After altering the records to falsely represent that the tests had been passed, Carbajal issued commercial licenses to the 14 individuals.
In all, the 14 purchasers paid $23,700. It is unclear 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 Carbajal’s supervisor became suspicious of her conduct at work. Carbajal was arrested Aug. 19, 2011, by DMV investigators.
Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.