On September 22nd, 2022

Former Bakersfield DMV Employee Pleads Guilty to Issuing Commercial Driver’s Licenses to Unqualified Drivers in Exchange for Bribes

“Admitted actions by this former DMV employee put the public’s safety at risk, both from the travelling public’s perspective and Homeland Security’s.  To the honest, hardworking DMV employees who do their jobs professionally and honestly, thank you.  To those who don’t, DMV employs peace-officer investigators who are very good at their jobs, and work to uncover criminal activity.” -CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

FRESNO – On September 19, 2022, Ulises Pena, 39, a former California Department of Motor Vehicles employee in Bakersfield, pleaded guilty to illegally producing California commercial driver licenses (CDL) in exchange for bribes.

According to court records, Pena was a Motor Vehicle Representative at the DMV and was responsible for processing driver’s license applications. From January 2015 through August 2016, he arranged for the passage of written tests for students from co-defendant Bikramjit Singh Pannu’s truck driving school who were having trouble passing the tests in exchange for payments from Pannu. Pena improperly accessed the students’ DMV records and altered them to show that the students had passed the tests when that was not true. His alterations caused the fraudulent issuance of CDLs to the unqualified students.

This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and the California DMV’s Internal Affairs Division.

Charges are pending against Pannu.

Pena has agreed to cooperate with the government in its ongoing case against Pannu. Pena is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ana de Alba on Dec. 12, 2022. Pena faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


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