BOSTON – A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty on April 5 to bribing a road test examiner to issue driver’s licenses to individuals who did not pass or even take road tests.
Estevao Semedo, 61, of Brockton, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud before U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani, who scheduled sentencing for Aug. 1. Semedo was charged on March 2, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (DOT-OIG).
Semedo, the owner of a driving school, was accused of conspiring to defraud the RMV into issuing driver’s licenses to applicants who did not pass the road test. Specifically, Semedo paid a road test examiner at the Brockton, Massachusetts, RMV service center to tell the RMV that certain driver’s license applicants had passed their road test when, in fact, they had not. Some of the applicants did not even show up to take the test.
As a result of the fraud, the RMV mailed driver’s licenses to unqualified applicants. In total, Semedo paid the road test examiner at least $17,000 in bribes in exchange for fraudulent passing scores on road tests.
The charge of conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The charging document also seeks a $17,000 forfeiture money judgment against Semedo.
The investigation was conducted by the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force of the Homeland Security Investigation unit. Assistance was provided by the Mattapoisett Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Wichers and Adam Deitch, of Rollins’ Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mackenzie Duane, of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit, are prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris, Deputy Chief of Rollins’ Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit, also assisted with the case.