Nevada DMV Says Steps Taken to Prevent Fraud

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Steps have been taken to prevent clerks at the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing fraudulent driver's licenses following last year's arrest of a worker in Las Vegas, the agency's director said.

DMV Director Bruce Breslow told a legislative audit committee Thursday that the agency set up a secondary review process after
the arrest in May 2010 of Nancy Brown in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas
Review-Journal ( ) reported.

Brown, 28, pleaded guilty in federal court in December to bribery charges. She faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and will be sentenced March 6. Justice Department officials charged her with unlawfully issuing 214 licenses to illegal immigrants between February 2010 and April 2011. She acknowledged accepting bribes of $70,000 to $120,000.

Breslow said he believes the new procedures are sufficient, "but we always are on guard that somebody will try to beat the system."

A legislative audit released Thursday criticized DMV for the initial steps it took after Brown's arrest.

Brown worked with outside parties who instructed the illegal immigrants to wait until she waved them to her window. She ultimately was caught after the Department of Homeland Security set
up a camera to film her working.

The audit noted that after the arrest, the DMV set up a secondary review process so that at least two people had to give their authorization that the proper paperwork had been filed before an applicant could receive a driver's license.

Legislative auditors, however, said they tested this review process in five different DMV offices and one office did not have an adequate system.

"As a result, an employee in the office could potentially perpetrate the same fraud," the audit said.

They also said some employees would review the applicant's driving history and records in the DMV computer system, while others only looked at the application. Breslow has since implemented written instructions for all employees to follow when processing driver's license applications.

Auditors also reported the DMV overproduced more than 1 million decals - at a cost of $250,000 - during the past four fiscal years. The decals are the stickers that drivers place on the corner of their license plates when they renew their registration each year.

Auditors said spreadsheets used by the DMV contained errors and over-estimated the number of decals needed.

Another audit finding caught the attention of Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Vegas - the DMV has failed to collect more than $600,000 due from 1,500 citations made by its Motor Carrier Division for trucking violations. Most date from 2010.

Carlton noted if she did not pay a citation for a violation, then a bench warrant would be issued for her arrest and she would end up in jail. She questioned why others should be given a break that average drivers don't receive.

"We were short-handed," Breslow said.

He said fines already have been collected on 500 of the citations and the backlog will be cleared up by June 30.

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