LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennslyvania State Police Troop J (PSP) filed criminal charges against a former PennDOT employee accused of using his government position to facilitate a fraud scheme that allowed ineligible drivers to operate motor vehicles.
According to the PSP, Angelo Carrion allegedly solicited money from customers in exchange for his help with knowledge tests while employed by PennDOT as a driver’s license examiner assistant.
Carrion worked at two driver’s license centers in Lancaster County. He resigned in April after PenDOT’s risk management office identified irregularities with 268 licenses or ID card transactions he processed between Oct. 2021 and March 2022.
Some of these irregularities included:
- Unusual testing patterns
- Incomplete applications
- The absence of required documents
Police state that many of the applicants were immigrants, yet their applications lacked verification of their immigration or citizenship status. The Vehicle Fraud Investigations Unit contacted applicants in cases where a criminal offense was suspected. A total of 35 applicants responded to police interviews.
The police investigation determined Carrion exploited Spanish-speaking customers, which were mostly immigrants, and coerced them into giving him cash payments in return for assistance on the tests. Applicants who had been interviewed told police they paid Carrion $20 to $350 for his help with driver’s licenses.
Many of those interviewed said Carrion took them into a private room and administered paper tests which, per PennDOT policy, should have been read to the individuals instead of providing them with the physical copy. Carrion also allegedly provided applicants with answers.
All customers in the investigation were in the United States legally and were eligible to apply for a driver’s license, according to a release from the PSP.
The customers that had worked with Carrion were required to undergo testing to ensure they had the knowledge and skills of a safe driver. However, many did not pass the testing process, which is according to State Police.
Carrion is 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.