Nineteen people, including three DMV security guards, were busted by officials this week for allegedly taking part in an elaborate scheme to help would-be truck and bus drivers illegally obtain commercial driver's licenses. "Our investigation uncovered numerous people who paid others thousands of dollars for answers to a test they could not answer without cheating, a scheme which undermined the system designed to ensure the security of our roads and communities," said Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott in a press release [PDF].
Altogether, at least eight commercial drivers paid $2,000 to $2,500 to the 11 people involved in the fraud, which was allegedly run by Brooklyn ambulance company worker Akmal Narzikulov. The DMV guards at the Manhattan offices, identified as Baeyaeh Kamara, Latoya Bourne and Inocente Martinez, are accused of arranging for customers to leave the testing room with their exams, which they gave to a surrogate test-taker who looked up the answers online.
And in Queens and Long Island DMV branches, test-takers were told to ask for audio exams, and given pencils that had answers written in secret code on the sides. “The pencil had a series of dots and dashes on its side. These symbols reflected the correct true or false answers for the audio version to the CDL test,” said Kevin Falk, special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.