Second Defendant Pleads Guilty in Driver’s License Bribery Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 16, 2012|
NASHVILLE—Anny Castillo, 29, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty yesterday to charges that she paid more than $5,000 in bribes to Larry Murphy, a former supervisory driver’s license examiner of the Tennessee Department of Safety, announced Jerry E. Martin, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Castillo, a citizen of the Dominican Republic and lawful resident of the United States, and Murphy were both indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2012 and charged with bribery, conspiracy to unlawfully produce state identification documents, and selling social security cards and citizenship documents. Murphy pleaded guilty last week and will be sentenced on February 15, 2013.
At the plea hearing, Castillo admitted that between August 2011 and April 2012, she illegally sold identification and citizenship documents to undocumented aliens and, unknown to her, to undercover informants and federal agents of Homeland Security Investigations. The FBI and the Tennessee Department of Safety joined the investigation when Castillo disclosed to informants that she knew a state employee who worked at a driver’s license station in the Nashville district who would issue licenses and permits in exchange for payment, without having to take or pass the required tests.
Castillo also admitted that she had engaged in a series of transactions that were recorded by federal agents posing as undocumented aliens seeking to obtain Tennessee driver’s licenses and permits. Castillo admitted that she took the undercover agents to a driver testing center in Nashville where Murphy worked and paid Murphy at least $15,000 to issue licenses without requiring the agents to take or pass the necessary tests. Castillo further admitted that she had engaged in about 50 such transactions with Murphy, which involved at least $30,000 in payments.
Castillo will be sentenced in February 2013 and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case was jointly investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, and the Tennessee Department of Safety. The United States is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hilliard Hester.