Former DMV employee sentenced for fraudulently upgrading licenses

A former Department of Motor Vehicles employee has been sentenced for granting commercial licenses to drivers who did not pass their tests, according to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.

Jose Hernandez, 53, on Thursday was ordered to spend 270 days in Tulare County Jail. Judge Brett Aldredge also sentenced Hernandez to four years of suspended state prison, which he could serve if he doesn’t meet the conditions of his probation.

A two-year investigation revealed Hernandez fraudulently upgraded six drivers with commercial licenses at the Visalia DMV, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office.

The drivers paid DMV employees or intermediaries between $400 and $600 to have their licenses upgraded.

Hernandez pleaded no contest to six felony counts of computer access fraud to alter a record and six felony counts of falsifying a government record, the district attorney’s office said.

A two-year internal investigation by the California DMV in Los Angeles, San Diego and Tulare revealed multiple DMV employees granted fraudulent licenses this way.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Paula Clark of the Consumer Protection Unit and was investigated by Calen Albert with the DMV Office of Internal Affairs.

Ashleigh Panoo: 559-441-6010, @AshleighPanoo
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