New York man sentenced to two years for CDL exam scheme

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A New York man was sentenced earlier this month to 28 months in prison and three years supervised release in connection with a fraudulent CDL test-taking scheme.

Jose “Polo” Payano was sentenced May 14 in a Brooklyn, N.Y., district court after pleading guilty to mail fraud in connection with an investigation of a widespread fraudulent CDL test-taking scheme. The investigation revealed fraudulent CDL test-taking activities took place at five Department of Motor Vehicle test centers in the New York City area.

The judge cited the threat to public safety as warranting the harsh sentence.

Payano participated in the scheme by facilitating the exchange of testing materials between a CDL applicant and an external test-taker. CDL applicants paid facilitators between $1,800 and $2,500 in return for CDL exam answers and escort assistance through DMV processes.

Other fraud schemes identified during the investigation included the use of pencils with miniaturized test answers on them, and the use of a Bluetooth headset as a communication device to relay test answers.

Payano was one of 11 subjects arrested on Sept. 25, 2013, in connection with this widespread scheme.