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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information:
May 23, 2006

Office of The Attorney General
- Zulima V. Farber, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Gregory A. Paw, Director

 

Peter Aseltine
609-292-4791

 

Two Former Motor Vehicle Commission Employees Sentenced for Selling NJ Digital Driver’s Licenses to Unauthorized Persons

TRENTON – Attorney General Zulima V. Farber announced that two former Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) clerks at the Morristown MVC agency were each sentenced today to five years in state prison for selling driver’s licenses to unauthorized persons.

Tressa V. Schumacher, 36, of Wharton, and Trucinder “Trudy” Clark, 36, of Morristown, both former clerks at the MVC agency on Speedwell Avenue in Morristown, were sentenced by Superior Court Judge Salem Vincent Ahto in Morris County. Both had pleaded guilty on April 17 to a single charge of conspiracy to commit official misconduct.

The pair were arrested on March 18 by investigators from the Division of Criminal Justice following a four-month investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice and the Motor Vehicle Commission. A third defendant, Iftikar Shaida, 54, of Morris Plains, who brokered sales of unauthorized licenses, was also arrested and has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit official misconduct. He faces sentencing at a later date.

“Within a two-month period, we arrested these defendants, secured guilty pleas and sent them to state prison,” said Attorney General Farber. “The swiftness of this prosecution and the resulting sentences demonstrate our resolve to treat these crimes with zero tolerance.”

“In this post-9/11 world, we cannot afford to have public officials or employees compromising the safety of our citizens by fraudulently selling official forms of identification,” said Division of Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw. “We will remain vigilant and prosecute these crimes to the full extent of the law when we uncover them. Our investigation is continuing.”

The two clerks issued New Jersey digital driver’s licenses to individuals who paid several thousand dollars per license to the broker and who were not required to provide the MVC with any of the required identification documents to demonstrate their legal authority to obtain a license. The broker gave a share of the money paid for each unauthorized license to the clerk who issued it.

During the investigation, it was revealed that at least 15 unauthorized licenses were issued by the clerks. As part of the investigation, video surveillance recordings were made of some transactions involving the two clerks and the broker at the Morristown MVC agency.

Schumacher and Clark were suspended without pay immediately after their arrest. They are barred from ever holding public employment again as part of the sentence imposed by Judge Ahto.

The investigation was conducted by State Investigator Nick Olenick and Supervising State Investigator Daniel O’Brien of the Division of Criminal Justice and Investigator Jack Hartwick of the MVC. Deputy Attorney General Debra Conrad prosecuted the case.

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