DMV official sentenced for assisting illegals obtain licenses - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

DMV official sentenced for assisting illegals obtain licenses

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A corrupt DMV official has been sentenced to 46 months for assisting illegal aliens in obtaining Virginia driver's licenses.

Roberto Lainez, 24, of Chesterfield was sentenced for his role in a fraudulent identification scheme.

Lainez was a customer service representative at the VA DMV.

He accepted bribes in exchange for issuing at least 25 Virginia driver's licenses.

"Dozens of illegal aliens are walking the streets under a false identity because Mr. Lainez took bribes and betrayed the trust the DMV placed in him," said U.S. Attorney MacBride.

Lainez pled guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to commit identity fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.

Lainez left the federal courthouse surrounded by his family. His mother and father came to the U.S. 31 years ago and are legal U.S. citizens.

"He is remorseful for his actions," said Lainez's attorney, Jeffrey Everhardt. "I think that the biggest impact on him is he really feels like he let his family down."

The judge sentenced Lainez above the recommended Federal Sentencing Guideline range, because of the large number of bribes taken by Lainez and because his assistance in obtaining false documentation for numerous illegal aliens will have lasting harm on society.

Lainez will begin serving his sentence on May 4.

In addition to Lainez, five other individuals involved in the conspiracy have pled guilty.

The ring leader is now serving more than 14 years in prison.

The DMV says it has taken proactive steps in the last year to strengthen its security.

Drivers licenses are no longer issued over the counter- they are mailed to you.

A spokesperson said, "criminals may be less inclined to attempt fraud if they are required to provide an accurate address to receive the credential."

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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