LAWFUEL – Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United Sta…

LAWFUEL – Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John W. Long, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General (DOT-OIG), Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Jesus Torres, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Sandra C. Lambert, Director, State of Florida Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), announced that defendant Marta Carina Pinto, of Miami, a former 17-year DHSMV employee, was sentenced today in Miami before United States District Court Judge Marcia G. Cooke, to twenty (20) month’s imprisonment, following her guilty plea on July 26, 2006, on charges of conspiring to unlawfully produce and transfer State of Florida drivers’ and commercial drivers’ licenses.

At the sentencing hearing today, the Court found that Pinto used her position as a drivers’ license examiner with DHSMV, the state agency responsible for the issuance of driver’s licenses, to fraudulently process more than 100 drivers’ licenses and commercial drivers’ licenses on behalf of individuals who were not lawfully entitled to such licenses because they were illegally in the United States. Pinto fraudulently processed the drivers’ license information by designating United States citizenship status for individuals she knew to be illegal aliens. Pinto was paid approximately $700 to $1000 for each license she fraudulently produced.

At a separate sentencing hearing later in the day, Judge Cooke sentenced Pinto’s co-defendant, Joseph Cohen, a middleman who had an arrangement with Pinto to locate and bring to her the individuals who needed to unlawfully secure the driver licenses. Judge Cooke sentenced Cohen to thirteen (13) month’s imprisonment for his role in helping procure approximately 25 fraudulent licenses. At Cohen’s sentencing hearing, the Court found that Cohen had been paid approximately $1,500 for each license he helped procure. Pinto and Cohen are both scheduled to voluntarily surrender to commence their sentences on November 27, 2006.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the United States Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Florida Highway Patrol. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jose A. Bonau.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on .

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