California

California DMV employee gets nearly 2 years in federal prison for bribery, fraud

‘The technology is Byzantine.’ Gov. Newsom on how DMV needs to change

Gov. Gavin Newsom talks about how California's Department of Motor Vehicles needs to change during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Behind him at left is the new director of the DMV, Steve Gordon.
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Gov. Gavin Newsom talks about how California's Department of Motor Vehicles needs to change during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Behind him at left is the new director of the DMV, Steve Gordon.

A former California Department of Motor Vehicles employee will serve nearly two years in federal prison for taking money in exchange for altering DMV database records.

Aaron Gilliam, 51, of Sherman Oaks, pleaded guilty to three conspiracy charges — to commit bribery, to commit identity fraud and to commit unauthorized access of a computer.

Gilliam worked at the Hollywood DMV for more than a decade. Between April 2016 and July 2017, he would take money in exchange for altering DMV records to reflect that individuals received a passing score on written examinations, despite those individuals either failing or not taking those tests.

A federal investigation found Gilliam responsible for at least 57 fraudulent licenses and permits being issued, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Last month, another former DMV employee from Southern California was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in federal prison after pleading guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for commercial driver licenses. The two cases were part of the same criminal investigation, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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