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Hundreds Could Face Charges In State Driver's License 'Scrub'

Newark man and nearly 700 New Jersey residents could face criminal charges for obtaining New Jersey driver’s licenses using false identities.


Nearly 700 New Jersey residents could face criminal charges for obtaining New Jersey driver’s licenses using false identities, state officials announced Tuesday.

Officials are touting the new high-tech facial recognition software, dubbed “Operation Facial Scrub,” to enforce the crackdown, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and Motor Vehicle Commission Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez said.

The effort has resulted in more than 1,800 license suspensions thus far, officials said.

More than 600 potential criminal cases have been referred to the attorney general’s office since the program began in December 2011. Of those cases, Chiesa announced the first wave of 38 criminal prosecutions today – including a Morristown resident, an Englewood resident and a Newark resident - and said more than 669 potential criminal cases have been referred to the attorney general’s office.

The software is designed to study the MVC’s 19-million photo record database to identify any duplicative photo records that may indicate administrative errors or customer fraud.

Last year, MVC security staff began to analyze the results after more than 600,000 matches were reviewed.

“A driver’s license is a powerful document that enables the holder to open financial accounts, obtain and drive motor vehicles, and board airplanes,” Chiesa said. “We know the 9/11 terrorists had fraudulent licenses from other states. By detecting individuals who have false licenses, law enforcement can potentially uncover other types of crime that these individuals may be involved in, including identity theft, financial fraud and even terrorism.” 

“Those of us in business and government who regularly handle sensitive information always talk about weeding out fraud and abuse,” Martinez said. “This security tool really provides us with that extra edge to thoroughly comb through our records and identify everything from simple record errors to more egregious acts of fraud.” 

“Our first 38 criminal prosecutions in Operation Facial Scrub include truck and bus drivers who have no business being on our roadways and registered sex offenders who tried to hide their criminal pasts,” said Director Stephen J. Taylor of the Division of Criminal Justice.  “We will continue to work with the Motor Vehicle Commission and our law enforcement partners to detect and aggressively prosecute criminals who obtain licenses using false identities.”

Officials say the arrested men include:

◆ 
Jorge Trujillo, 50, of Morristown. Trujillo allegedly used false information to obtain a commercial driver’s license. He was indicted on the current charges on Nov. 30, 2012 on four counts each of using personal identifying information of another in the second degree and tampering with public records in the third degree.

◆ Ramon Hazell, 63, of Englewood. Hazell was charged in three driving under the influence charges. He was indicted on the current charges on Jan. 11, 2013 for using personal identifying information of another in the second degree and tampering with public records in the third degree.
◆ Jose Marte, 50, of Newark. Marte currently has three license suspensions. He was indicted on the current charges on Nov. 14, 2012 for using personal identifying information of another in the second degree and tampering with public records in the third degree. 

The second-degree charges against the defendants carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while the third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a $15,000 fine.

respeck4all February 13, 2013 at 02:35 AM
I have to agree with the state's crackdown on using illegal identities to obtain a driver's licence. I only hope they don't get a slap on the wrist.
Jack B Goode February 13, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Its about time!..Now lets hope the dumb Dems don't hand out licenses to Illegal Immigrants like they do in some other states
OHW February 13, 2013 at 03:22 AM
I thought we had a digital license that made this kind of identity fraud impossible. Well maybe not...
Art Elmers February 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM
What about Joe Giudice husband of NJ Housewives Teresa Guidice? My prediction is that he gets off with a slap on the wrist. It is this special treatment of a select few that has totally destroyed my confidence in the justice system in NJ. In spite of this article it will just be business as usual in the State of New Jersey.
The Good Guy February 13, 2013 at 01:49 PM
I hope they catch them all. This is big business. I was victim of these criminals.
carlotta miller February 13, 2013 at 01:51 PM
This really aggravates me, recently I went to Motor vech; and the changes that I went thru Was unbelivable; yet this is allowed to happen Obviously there still exists a rot at DMV Agency.. And we, the public pay more get less..there should be a complete overhaul at DMV.. A new Broom sweeps clean!!
cffthree February 13, 2013 at 04:26 PM
not only will they hand out licenses, they'll hand out citizenship to the same criminals.
cffthree February 13, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Isin't it amazing how criminals don't follow the law? And law abiding citizens lose freedoms. Make them pay. I'm required to carry insurance for them because they don't get any. The main reason they are using false identification is because they are here illegally, not because of past DUI. State should sue them right back to the country they snuck in from.
Flood Plain February 13, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Not racist, just factual. Wait until you see the whole list and see what percentage of them are "illegal."
b flake February 13, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Put them in jail, hard time.
Chris for Liberty February 13, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Good. Perhaps if DMV pays better attention to the paperwork the people are submitting, this type of fraud could be caught earlier. Their legal status should also be checked so the legal residents don't have to pay the bills of the illegals.
Cristina February 14, 2013 at 10:42 PM
To those whos has fake driver lic. also check their back groung, with their last name and without their last name, they add last name and change too. They also keep changing addresses. Compare the driver lic. number to see what they hide. Take them to jail, because if they do things like that, they will be able to do worst things.
Jack B Goode February 14, 2013 at 10:43 PM
the Dems block any attempt to require ID at the voting polls, people outside the law can vote and drive, law abiding citzens have to pay for it.
Cristina February 14, 2013 at 10:53 PM
As I know each state has diferent law, that's why people go to another state to get their driver lic. and then go to another state to make their crime. I remember I read an article from Providence RI, there was a lots of people working for DMV and they got paid for these criminal people, all these people that were working in RI DMV were fired. They should start with these people that got their driver lic. in that state. It may be people around the town with that driver lic. They should work fast in that, and take those people to jail as soon as posible, these criminals laugh at all police officer that get fooled.
Cristina February 14, 2013 at 10:56 PM
That's true.
Reality Chuck February 17, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Anyone who looks to the government for these broad based security solutions (remember it was terrorism that drove the 6 point ID process) should know that it only holds those with a sense of responsibility accountable. The same will happen with gun control. Someday a good citizen will be prosecuted for a crime where his/her gun was used to kill someone, and the scumbag theif will continue to walk free...and this will be viewed as a victory in gun control.

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