NewsCovering Kern County


Former Bakersfield DMV employee pleads guilty to faking CDL test results for students who did not pass

law court justice file
Posted at 9:47 PM, Sep 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-24 00:47:45-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced that former California Department of Motor Vehicles employee Ulises Pena pleaded guilty to illegally producing California commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) in exchange for bribes on Monday, September 19th.

According to court records, Pena was a Bakersfield DMV representative responsible for processing driver’s license applications. From January 2015 through August 2017, he arranged for students from his co-defendant Bikramjit Singh Pannu’s truck driving school who were having trouble with the written portion of the driving test to look like they had passed the test in exchange for payments from Pannu.

Investigations showed that Pena improperly accessed the students’ DMV records and altered them to show that the students had passed the test when that was not true, causing the DMV to issue fraudulent CDLs to unqualified students.

Charges are also pending against Pannu. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Pena has agreed to cooperate with the government in its ongoing case against Pannu.

Pena is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12, 2022 by a U.S. district judge. The maximum penalty the judge could give him is 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.