Sacramento – Investigators with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) arrested a Los Angeles man for defrauding more than 50 people by impersonating a DMV employee and falsely promising, for a fee, to "fix" suspended driver licenses and problems with vehicle registrations.
"This man was ripping off people who had already run into problems," said Kenny Ehrman, president of the Association of Motor Vehicle Investigators of California (AMVIC) "They didn't need this added to their list. We as DMV investigators work to protect the integrity of the Department and protect consumers from identity theft."
Antoine Marquis Hale, 26, was taken into custody at his home on April 6, 2017 and charged with identify theft for unlawfully possessing the personal identification information of his victims, theft by fraud, and commercial burglary linked to the illicit collection of money from his victims. He pleaded guilty to the felony offense and faces up to six months in jail. Sentencing is scheduled for June 5, 2017.
Hale posted advertisements that displayed the DMV logo on websites such as Craigslist and Offer Up. He claimed to be a DMV employee who could remove suspensions from a person's driver record, correct problems with vehicle registration, and provide other DMV services. In exchange, he would charge his victims between $250 and $400.
While serving a search warrant at Hale's home, DMV investigators seized his phone and answered it as victims called to try to get their money back. Since this suspect admitted that he learned to carry out this fraudulent activity from others, investigators believe this scam may be continuing to take place throughout California and Nevada.
"Scammers often times pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, family member or a person from a company with whom you do business," said DMV Investigations Chief Frank Alvarez. "Never send money or give out your personal information to anyone who is soliciting their services."