Indian-American Man Sentenced to Prison for Bribing DMV Employees

indica News Bureau-

Los Angeles-based Indian-American Jagpal “Paul” Singh, owner of a truck driving school, was sentenced to three years in prison for bribing the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employees, announced U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott on Thursday, Dec 5.

61-year-old Singh, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, identity fraud, unauthorized use of a computer, and for identification document fraud early in March this year.

According to court records Singh, known as “Paul” owned Calcutta Truck School, in Los Angeles. In 2014, he along with his fellows – Jagdish Singh, Tajinder Singh, and Parminder Singh to obtain commercial driving licenses bribed two DMV employees, Lisa Terraciano and Kari Scattaglia, for, in part, accessing and altering records in the DMV’s database in Sacramento for Singh’s students.

Both Terraciano and Scattaglia have pleaded guilty. Terraciano was sentenced to three years and four months in prison, and Scattaglia was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

According to the press note on Singh’s request, the DMV employees altered the records to show that applicants for California driver’s licenses had passed the required tests when, in truth, they had not done so, and in some cases had not even taken the tests.

This caused the DMV to issue permits and completed driver’s licenses despite the applicants not having taken or passed those tests.

According to the court record, the FBI along with the DMV office of Internal Affairs began investigating the case in 2016. And through the course of the investigation, they sent undercover officers to be a student and paid money to Singh to obtain Class A and commercial driving license.

During the investigation process, the FBI that worked undercover paid Singh $4,500 for obtaining a driving license in 2016.

The record shows Singh between 2014 to 2017, Singh obtained 179 fraudulent licenses, including permits of which he was paid $269,500. From FBI he earned $4500 for issuance of three fraudulent permits.

Charges are pending against co-defendants Tajinder Singh, 34, driving school owner; Parminder Singh, 29, broker; and Shawana Denise Harris, 49, DMV employee at the Rancho Cucamonga DMV Office. They are scheduled to go to trial on June 1, 2020.

US Attorney spokesperson Lauren Horwood. told indica,  “One defendant, Jagdish Singh, died last May.”

Jagdish Singh was the owner of Gobind Truck School. His Son Tajinder Singh helped students get licenses without giving the written test. Parminder worked with Jaspal Singh and helped students obtain the permits without having or take the written exam.