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Bakersfield Truck Driving School Owner Headed to Federal Pen

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A Bakersfield truck driving school owner’s “guarantee” that all of his students could get licensed is sending him to federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd sentenced Paramjit Singh Mangat, 56, of Bakersfield, to 14 months in prison and a $10,000 fine Friday in a bribery scheme uncovered by Homeland Security and the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

The court also ordered Mangat’s forfeiture of $100,000 seized as proceeds from the fraud scheme.

Owner Conspired With DMV License Examiner

Mangat operated driving schools in Bakersfield that ostensibly provided training to those seeking to obtain driver’s licenses, including Akal Truck Driving School and Akal Driving School.

But when students had difficulty passing DMV examinations, in return for money, Mangat offered to assist them in obtaining licenses through his DMV contact, Javier Jesus Hernandez-Herrera, 56.

Court documents revealed that from June 2012 through August 2016 Mangat conspired with Herrera, then a licensing registration examiner at a DMV office in Bakersfield.

In return for bribes, Herrera agreed to access the students’ DMV records and alter the records to reflect that they had passed DMV written and/or behind-the-wheel examinations, when, in fact, the applicants had failed the tests.

Former DMV Employee Will Be Sentenced in August

Herrera pleaded guilty on Nov. 12, 2019, and is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 14. He faces up 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Henry Z. Carbajal III and David L. Gappa are prosecuting the case.