Crime - Sacto 911

These California DMV employees took bribes for licenses. Now they’re going to prison.

‘The technology is Byzantine.’ Gov. Newsom on how DMV needs to change

Gov. Gavin Newsom talks about how California's Department of Motor Vehicles needs to change during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Behind him at left is the new director of the DMV, Steve Gordon.
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Gov. Gavin Newsom talks about how California's Department of Motor Vehicles needs to change during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Behind him at left is the new director of the DMV, Steve Gordon.

A former California Department of Motor Vehicles employee will serve more than two-and-a-half years in federal prison after pleading guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for commercial driver licenses.

Kari Scattaglia, 40, of Sylmar stands convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery, to commit identity fraud, and to commit unauthorized access of a computer.

“The FBI is committed to working with law enforcement and agency partners to root out corruption, especially when it puts the lives of our fellow citizens at risk,” Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan said in prepared remarks. “Scattaglia’s greed led her to value self‑enrichment over the safety of the millions of people accessing California and interstate highways. Instead of performing her job honestly, she took bribes in exchange for enabling drivers of tractor-trailer trucks to operate in California without passing the tests required to ensure they could operate safely.”

Scattaglia and her co-defendent, Lisa Terraciano, 52, of North Hollywood both worked for the state DMV, where they were responsible for processing California commercial driver licenses, or CDLs.

“A CDL is required to drive passenger buses and to operate tractor-trailer trucks on California and interstate highways, including, in some cases, transporting hazardous materials,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Scattaglia and Terraciano took payment in order to access the DMV’s Sacramento database and alter the records of applicants “to fraudulently show that the applicants had passed the required written tests when, in truth, the applicants had not passed the tests or, at times, even taken the written tests,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Scattaglia also altered applicant records to show that they had passed the driving test, despite the applicants either not taking or not passing those tests.

Scattaglia was responsible for at least 68 fraudulently issued CDLs, according to the plea agreement, while Terraciano was responsible for 148.

Terraciano is set to be sentenced in September. She faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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