Philadelphia, PA–(ENEWSPF)– Alexander Steele, 47, of Philadelphia, and Christopher J. Hahn, 48, of Edgewater, NJ, pled guilty today to charges in connection with a scheme that involved bribes to driver’s license examiners in exchange for fraudulent driver’s licenses, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Steele was a PennDOT driver’s license examiner, working in West Oak Lane, who took approximately $30,000 in cash bribes from driver’s license applicants. The applicants were sent to him by co-defendants Kakhyun H. Lee, Northern New Jersey driving school operator Michel Lominy, and several others, in exchange for issuing the licenses to individuals without regard for their eligibility to receive those licenses. In total, Steele issued more than 100 official Pennsylvania driver’s licenses and identification cards, many containing fraudulent identifying information, to foreign nationals and illegal aliens.
The scheme worked similarly with respect to a fraudulent Pennsylvania driver’s licenses issued to co-defendant Christopher J. Hahn, who paid $2,000 to obtain a license in the name of “Xueying Hu.”
Steele’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 12, 2011. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of up to 85 years in prison. Hahn’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 13, 2011. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of up to 97 years in prison.
The investigation, dubbed Operation Blindspot, resulted in the arrests of 19 individuals for obtaining driver’s licenses and other identification documents for individuals who were not eligible to receive driver’s licenses, including illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and others. Among the co-defendants were several driving school operators and three PennDOT driver’s license examiners. One defendant in the case remains, and is awaiting trial.
The case was investigated by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Pennsylvania State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Richard J. Zack and David J. Ignall.