Former DMV Official Guilty of Taking Bribes

As a driver safety officer at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Southern California, her job duties included presiding over hearings for people charged with driving under the influence.

She had the power to sway the decision whether to suspend or not suspend a defendant’s driver’s license. She also had access to the files and records of the DMV, where she had worked since August 2000.

In her plea agreement, the woman admitted making deals with six different attorneys to help the lawyers in obtaining preferential treatment for their clients who were charged with drunken driving. In return for the favorable treatment for the clients, she was given goods and services of value, including cash, meals, and luxury items such as designer purses.

Some of the maneuvers she admitted to in her plea agreement include stealing arrest packets from the driver safety office before the information about a DUI arrest could be entered into the office database, setting aside driver’s license suspensions, and providing unauthorized temporary licenses for people who had been arrested for DUIs.

She took gifts and bribes worth over $5,000 total, including cash, gift certificates, sunglasses, purses and other items of value., retired from the DMV in December 2014 after search warrants were executed at her home and office. She is free on bond pending sentencing in April 2015.

Immigration Official Was Paid Off for Green Cards

In one case, an immigration service officer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services took 200 eggrolls to help an immigrant acquire U.S. citizenship. In another instance, she was paid $1,000 for her help in getting a green card.

Mai Nhu Nguyen, 48, of Irvine, California, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for her numerous shenanigans involving Vietnamese immigrants.

Nguyen worked at Citizenship and Immigration’s Santa Ana, California, office for eight years. She had the power to approve or deny applications for immigration benefits.

Correctional Officer Provided Contraband to Inmates

An employee at the U.S. penitentiary in Lee County, Virginia, saw to it that an inmate had cell phone privileges and access to tobacco products. He was paid more than $10,000 for his trouble.

Scottie Austin, 44, of Kingsport, Tennessee, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison on charges of receiving bribes. At the time of his offenses, Austin worked as a correctional officer for the Bureau of Prisons.

The illegal payments he received were made on an ongoing basis by family members of an inmate at the Lee County facility.

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