CRIME

Feds say California DMV employees took bribes to issue commercial truck and bus licenses

  • Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California, discusses the investigation into a scheme where as many as 100 commercial truck drivers paid up to $5,000 to  California Department of Motor Vehicle employees for illegal California licenses, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Sacramento,Calif.  Court records say that three DMV employees, two in Salinas and one in Sacramento, changed computer records to falsely show that drivers passed written and behind-the-wheel tests. The owners of three truck driving schools have also been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and to commit identity fraud.  (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

    Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California, discusses the investigation into a scheme where as many as 100 commercial truck drivers paid up to $5,000 to California Department of Motor Vehicle employees for illegal California licenses, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Sacramento,Calif. Court records say that three DMV employees, two in Salinas and one in Sacramento, changed computer records to falsely show that drivers passed written and behind-the-wheel tests. The owners of three truck driving schools have also been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and to commit identity fraud. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)  (The Associated Press)

  • Frank Alvarez, right, chief investigator for the Department of Motor Vehicles, responds to a question concerning a federal investigation of a scheme where as many as 100 commercial truck drivers paid up to $5,000 to DMV employees for illegal California licenses, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Sacramento,Calif.  Court records say that three DMV employees, two in Salinas and one in Sacramento, changed computer records to falsely show that drivers passed written and behind-the-wheel tests. The owners of three truck driving schools have also been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and to commit identity fraud.  At left is Benjamin B. Wagner, United State Attorney of the Eastern District of California.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

    Frank Alvarez, right, chief investigator for the Department of Motor Vehicles, responds to a question concerning a federal investigation of a scheme where as many as 100 commercial truck drivers paid up to $5,000 to DMV employees for illegal California licenses, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Sacramento,Calif. Court records say that three DMV employees, two in Salinas and one in Sacramento, changed computer records to falsely show that drivers passed written and behind-the-wheel tests. The owners of three truck driving schools have also been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and to commit identity fraud. At left is Benjamin B. Wagner, United State Attorney of the Eastern District of California.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)  (The Associated Press)

  • Benjamin B.Wagner, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California, gestures to a chart showing how California Department of Motor Vehicle employees were bribed for providing fraudulent California licenses to commercial truck drivers, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Sacramento,Calif.  Wagner said that three DMV employees, two in Salinas and one in Sacramento,  were paid up to $5,000 to change computer records to falsely show that drivers passed written and behind-the-wheel tests. The owners of three truck driving schools have also been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and to commit identity fraud.  (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

    Benjamin B.Wagner, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California, gestures to a chart showing how California Department of Motor Vehicle employees were bribed for providing fraudulent California licenses to commercial truck drivers, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, in Sacramento,Calif. Wagner said that three DMV employees, two in Salinas and one in Sacramento, were paid up to $5,000 to change computer records to falsely show that drivers passed written and behind-the-wheel tests. The owners of three truck driving schools have also been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and to commit identity fraud. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)  (The Associated Press)

Federal authorities say as many as 100 commercial truck drivers paid up to $5,000 each to bribe state Department of Motor Vehicles employees for illegal California licenses.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento says Emma Klem, a 45-year-old Salinas DMV employee, and a trucking school owner from Turlock each pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit bribery and to commit identity fraud.

Two other DMV employees in Salinas and Sacramento and two other trucking school operators face similar charges. Two pleaded not guilty, and the others are awaiting arraignment.

Court records say the employees changed computer records to falsely show that drivers passed written and behind-the-wheel tests.

Prosecutors say the owners of three truck driving schools bribed the DMV employees between June 2011 and March 2015.