BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The owner of a Bakersfield truck driving school was sentenced Friday for his role in a conspiracy to sell California commercial driver's licenses to unqualified drivers.
U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd sentenced Paramjit Singh Mangat, 56, of Bakersfield, to 14 months in prison and a $10,000 fine for his conviction on one count of unlawful production of an identification document and aiding and abetting. The court also finalized an order for forfeiture of $100,000 that had been seized as proceeds from the fraud scheme.
According to court documents, Mangat operated driving schools in Bakersfield that ostensibly provided training to those seeking to obtain driver's licenses, including Akal Truck Driving School and Akal Driving School. When students had difficulty passing DMV examinations, in return for money, Mangat offered to assist them in obtaining fraudulently issued, yet official licenses through Mangat's contact Javier Jesus Hernandez-Herrera, 56, then a DMV employee.
According to court documents, from approximately June 2012 through Aug. 24, 2016, Mangat conspired with Herrera, then a Licensing Registration Examiner at a DMV office in Bakersfield. In return for payment, Herrera agreed to access the students' DMV records and alter the records to reflect that the individual had passed DMV written and behind-the-wheel tests, when, in fact, the individual had not passed one or more required DMV tests.
Herrera pleaded guilty on Nov. 12, 2019, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 14.
Herrera faces a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.