Sunday, May 9, 2010

Two more charged in Phila. driver's license scheme

With a name like Saman H. Salem and Salem's Professional Driving School, I wonder who the clients were that paid $4,000 per license. Maybe more than Mexicans are crossing our unprotected borders illegally. We pay billions to secure our ports but chintz when it comes to building a fence. Why risk flying into the country if you can just walk in?

A PennDot license examiner accepted bribes from a Philadelphia businessman in return for issuing "hundreds" of driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and foreign residents, government prosecutors charged Thursday.

According to court documents, Harold Palmer, 43, accepted $40 to $100 per driver from Saman H. Salem in return for issuing licenses to ineligible clients of Salem's Professional Driving School.

The documents also say Salem, 32, helped his clients cheat on the written portion of the examination by posing as an interpreter and passing them answers. The scheme allegedly started in 2003.

Salem tied up thousands of slots at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation license center on Columbus Boulevard, where Palmer worked, by using the agency's online service to book tests, according to the documents.

Salem received up to $4,000 from each client, taking in about $1 million through the scheme, authorities allege. He is also charged with not paying income tax.

U.S. Attorney Michael L. Levy said the defendants were "systematically corrupting the process of obtaining driving licenses."
Read article here.

And another article from the L.A. Times:
DMV workers accused of illegally issuing vehicle titles, driver's licenses

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