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El Cajon DMV employee pleads guilty to fraud

The last of 30 East County employees to accept felony charges

Jeffrey Bednarek, a former employee at the El Cajon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, pleaded guilty on January 28 to document fraud, bribery, and witness tampering.

The case began in May of 2012, when the U.S. attorney's office charged there was widespread license bribery in DMV offices in El Cajon and Rancho San Diego. Initially, 21 people were charged with taking or passing bribes; that grew to 30, who have now all pleaded guilty to felony conduct.

People were paying bribes up to $3000 to get licenses after they had failed or not taken the required tests.

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Jeffrey Bednarek, a former employee at the El Cajon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, pleaded guilty on January 28 to document fraud, bribery, and witness tampering.

The case began in May of 2012, when the U.S. attorney's office charged there was widespread license bribery in DMV offices in El Cajon and Rancho San Diego. Initially, 21 people were charged with taking or passing bribes; that grew to 30, who have now all pleaded guilty to felony conduct.

People were paying bribes up to $3000 to get licenses after they had failed or not taken the required tests.

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Comments
8

The DMV is a state agency. Those offices are located in San Diego county. But the prosecutions were made by the US Attorney in federal court. Howcum? Seems to me that such wrongdoing should have been investigated and prosecuted by the attorney general of California, or by our local DA. Is only the FBI capable of responding to complaints and then investigating them to the point of having solid cases for prosecution? That's the way it looks to me.

Jan. 30, 2014

Visduh: I honestly don't know why this one fell under the purview of the federal government. You raise an interesting point. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 30, 2014

Because this is state agency, I think, for investigative purposes, that it would fall into the public corruption category. The FBI is the agency who investigates those cases at a state level. Also, as said below, providing false id is a Federal offense (The False Identification Crime Control Act of 1982).The FBI considers public corruption at all levels to be their number one criminal priority.

Jan. 30, 2014

Odd that you should mention that public corruption is a priority for the FBI, because until just recently, there had been no involvement of that agency or the US Atty in the ongoing saga of school district corruption in So County. Finally there is some indication that the feds are getting involved, perhaps because the DA and the judge have gone wobbly on the few cases that have been resolved. There are many more to be settled, and as far as a real clean-out of the the bad people in charge down there, the future is murky. Can we hope that the FBI is really going to make an effort to handle such matters?

Jan. 30, 2014

Visduh: The FBI/U.S. attorney should probably enter the South County school district mess. Locals don't seem to be making headway. Unfortunately, that often happens. Everybody is in everybody else's pocket. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 30, 2014

viewer: I guess you could say that taking bribes in exchange for driver's licenses is outside the written job descriptions of DMV employees. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 31, 2014

Just guessing, but I think the FBI probably became involved because of the scope of the investigation as well as it involved falsifying identification documents. Where it may have been handled by the state in a pre-9/11 world, now anything to do with falsifying ID's like dozens of drivers licenses (particularly for the benefit of a certain demographic profile) will pique the curiosity of the Feds.

Jan. 30, 2014

Ponzi: That could be an explanation. Ask Bonnie Dumanis.....oh, that's right. She has other things to think about now. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 30, 2014

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