More Bus Drivers Busted For Fraud
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced last Thursday, Aug. 18, that a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) investigation has led to the arrests of 51 commercial drivers, including bus drivers, for fraudulently obtaining multiple driver licenses using an alias.
The arrests were made as the result of the use of facial recognition technology which reviewed the records of 600,000 holders of New York State Commercial Driver Licenses (CDLs). In addition to the most recent arrests, more than 70 other CDL drivers were arrested based on the use of facial recognition technology earlier this year. Since February of 2010, 800 people have been arrested for having two or more licenses under different aliases.
Among those charged in the sweep were local residents Shawzair Khan (a.k.a. Tyron Osca), an MTA employee living on 164th Street in Jamaica; Sajid M. Choudhry (a.k.a. Sajid Mohmood) of 164th Street in Jamaica; Maximo F. Yaguana (a.k.a. Manuel Salmas) of 128th Street in College Point; Nicky C. Ogedegbe (a.k.a. Charles Ogedegbe) of 145th Avenue in Jamaica); Ahmadou Tambadou (who used the same name, but different date of birth for his license) of 57th Avenue in Corona; Roland Jeanty (a.k.a. Rolando Jeantyle) of Brookhaven Avenue in Far Rockaway; Amgad B. Hammad (a.k.a. Amgad B. Ibrahim and Amgad A. Hammad) of Vleigh Place in Kew Gardens Hills; Ahmeh M. Ali (a.k.a. Ahmed S. Mohamed) of Skillman Avenue in Woodside; Jun-Shu Lee (a.k.a. Joon Soo Lee) of 41st Street in Astoria; Tara Chand (a.k.a. Raj Kumar Verma) of Bradway in Elmhurst; and Milan R. Parik (a.k.a. Milan Hunter) of 56th Road in Flushing.
All drivers who obtained their licenses fraudulently were each charged with offering a false instrument in the first degree and falsifying business records in the second degree. Those with excessive unpaid tickets were also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree.
“With some hi-tech help, the state can now quickly find drivers who think it’s acceptable to use an alias to illegally get more than one license,” Cuomo said. “I commend investigators from the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as the local, state and federal agencies that teamed up on this case to help stop this fraud and keep our roads safe.”
In addition to the DMV Division of Field Investigations the other agencies involved in the investigations and arrests were the NYPD Document Fraud Squad, the New York State Division of State Police, U. S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Social Security Administration, the United States Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, and the U.S. Secret Service in cooperation with the offices of the District Attorneys in Queens, New York, Brooklyn, Nassau, Westchester and the Bronx.
Barbara J. Fiala, DMV commissioner and chair of the Governor’s
-SEE BUS ON PG. 70- Traffic Safety Committee said, “We know that the work of the DMV’s Division of Field Investigations in identifying these commercial drivers who are a danger on our highways will bring great benefit to all New Yorkers. I congratulate the DFI staff for their work and thank all those who played an important role in getting these drivers off our roads.”
“Individuals who obtain multiple driver licenses misappropriate government benefits, or worse conceal violent criminal histories,” said NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. “I commend the NYPD’s Document Fraud Squad, the DMV Division of Field Investigations, and State Police and federal investigators and our District Attorneys for their fine work.”
“Individuals who fraudulently obtain commercial driver’s licenses represent a tremendous potential threat to public safety,” State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said. “These arrests are significant not just because of the apprehension of the individuals involved, but because they demonstrate the effectiveness of the measures being taken to ensure the integrity of New York’s licensing system. The State Police and DMV will continue to work cooperatively to prevent unqualified or unsafe drivers from operating commercial motor vehicles on our roads and highways.”
“These arrests show the continuing commitment by Governor Cuomo, the Department of Motor Vehicles and law enforcement officials across the state to keeping our roads safe,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “Drivers who illegally obtain fraudulent licenses are in all likelihood trying to conceal something in their backgrounds that could put the safety of passengers and other drivers on the road at risk. It is imperative to protect our streets and highways from unsafe and criminal drivers.”
“Law abiding citizens deserve to be protected from those, often untrained drivers, using fraudulent documents to obtain licenses and causing accidents and creating dangerous conditions on our highways,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes. “Driving is a privilege and state licensing is a safeguard against criminals who would abuse it. I fully support Governor Cuomo’s efforts to crack down on these abuses and will prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law.”
It was noted that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven otherwise in court.