SANTA ANA (AP) — A clerk at the California Department of Motor Vehicles and five other people have been indicted on charges involving the creation of new identities with Puerto Rican documents that were then used to get driver’s licenses, authorities said Wednesday.
DMV clerk Tracey Lynette Jones pleaded not guilty on Monday in federal court in Santa Ana and was released on $25,000 bond, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office.
Authorities say Jones altered records in the DMV database at the agency’s El Monte office to make it appear that applicants who presented Puerto Rican birth certificates and Social Security cards obtained from other defendants had passed the written and driving tests required to get a license.
The group sold the documents for as much as $5,000 to customers that included convicted criminals, authorities said.
DMV spokesman Armando Botello declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
Jones’ lawyer, Kate Corrigan, said her client has no criminal background.
In court papers, an investigator for Immigration and Customs Enforcement wrote that one of the defendants told an undercover agent that he could get the process done at three DMV offices.
It was not immediately clear if other DMV employees were involved in the scheme.
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