(WJET/WFXP/YourErie)– Pennsylvania State Police has arrested a former PennDOT employee for allegedly using his position to facilitate a fraud scheme that allowed ineligible drivers to operate motor vehicles.
According to Pennsylvania State Police Troop J, Angelo Carrion allegedly used his position as a driver’s license examiner assistant at two different driver’s license centers in Lancaster County, the PennDOT Regency Square License Center in East Hempfield Township and the PennDOT Lancaster East License Center in East Lampeter Township, to facilitate the scheme.
Carrion resigned in April 2022 after PennDOT’s Risk Management Office identified irregularities with 268 license or identification card transactions he processed between October 2021 and March 2022. Those irregularities included unusual testing patterns, incomplete applications and the absence of required documents.
Multiple applicants were immigrants that lacked verification of their immigration or citizenship status, with many of these applicants having failed knowledge examinations multiple times but passed when Carrion administered the test.
The Vehicle Fraud Investigations Unit contacted applicants in cases where a criminal offense was suspected, 35 of those applicants responded for police interviews.
Further investigation determined that Carrion primarily targeted Spanish-speaking immigrants and coerced cash payments from them in exchange for his assistance on tests. Applicants told police that they paid anywhere between $20 to $350 for Carrion’s help with driver’s license and commercial driver’s license tests.
According to investigators, many of these people were taken into a private room and given paper tests which should’ve been read to them and not been given a physical copy per PennDOT policy. Carrion is also alleged to have provided answers along with the physical test.
All customers involved in the investigation were in the United States legally and were eligible to apply for a driver’s license. Many of Carrion’s applicants were required to be tested again even if they did not respond for a police interview, and many did not pass the re-test.
Carrion was charged with 17 felony counts of bribery in official matters, one felony count each of theft by deception and criminal use of a communication facility, and 17 felony counts plus 35 misdemeanor counts of tampering with public records or information.
His bail was set at $75,000 unsecured.