TRENTON – A Bergen County man pleaded guilty today to acting as a broker in a conspiracy involving a former clerk in the Lodi Motor Vehicle Agency to illegally sell New Jersey digital driver’s licenses to unauthorized persons, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced.
Hildeberto Salinas, 44, of Carlstadt, pleaded guilty to second-degree charges of bribery and conspiracy before Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Roma in Bergen County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that he be sentenced to four years in state prison and be ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. Deputy Attorney General Debra Conrad took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau. Sentencing for Salinas is scheduled for April 27.
In pleading guilty, Salinas admitted that he brokered sales of New Jersey digital driver’s licenses which were issued out of the Lodi Motor Vehicle Agency to individuals who did not have the required six points of identification. On March 12, a former clerk who participated in the scheme, Anne Marie Manfredonia, 44, of Little Ferry, pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy and third-degree tampering with public records before Roma. The state will recommend that she be sentenced to four years in prison, including two years of parole ineligibility. She will be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey.
Salinas and Manfredonia were among 40 defendants named in indictments unsealed on Dec. 5, 2011, which also alleged conspiracies to illegally sell driver’s licenses out of the East Orange, Edison, North Bergen and Jersey City motor vehicle agencies. In some cases, the customers, who are foreign nationals, did not qualify for a license because they were in the U.S. illegally. In other cases, they lacked sufficient documentation. The customers paid between $2,500 and $7,000 for a license or license renewal, and the MVC clerks and brokers split the proceeds. The indictments resulted from joint investigations by the Division of Criminal Justice, Motor Vehicle Commission and New Jersey State Police.
The investigations were conducted by members of the Division of Criminal Justice MVC Unit, within the Specialized Crimes Bureau; the Motor Vehicle Commission’s Division of Security, Investigation and Internal Audit; and the New Jersey State Police Auto Unit Document Fraud Squad.
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