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Former New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission clerk indicted with nine alleged co-conspirators for Masterminding a payoffs for permits and licenses scheme


December 21,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that a former New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) clerk was indicted today along with nine alleged co-conspirators in a scheme in which the clerk allegedly accepted thousands of dollars in payments in return for allowing more than 220 individuals to obtain permits and licenses without passing required exams.

Rodman Lora, 39, of Ridgewood, N.Y., a former clerk at the Lodi MVC Agency, allegedly altered MVC driver records for more than 220 individuals between 2014 and 2016, enabling the individuals to obtain various permits and licenses without having passed the mandatory written and/or driving exams. In return, Lora allegedly received cash payments that averaged more than $700 per license or permit.
The Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau today obtained a state grand jury indictment charging Lora with the following crimes:
Official Misconduct (2nd degree),
Pattern of Official Misconduct (2nd degree),
Conspiracy (2nd degree),
Computer Criminal Activity (2nd degree), and
Tampering with Public Records or Information (3rd degree).

The official misconduct and pattern of official misconduct charges against Lora carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison, with a mandatory minimum period of five years of parole ineligibility. The nine co-defendants indicted with Lora include four customers of the illegal scheme, three “runners” whom Lora allegedly used to recruit customers, and two co-conspirators who worked at the Lodi MVC Agency, one as an MVC clerk and the second as a security guard for a private security firm contracted by the MVC. Each of those defendants is charged with second-degree conspiracy, second-degree computer criminal activity, and third-degree tampering with public records or information.

“Corrupt motor vehicle clerks have the power to undermine public safety by issuing fraudulent documents to criminals seeking false identification, or as alleged here, by issuing driver’s credentials to unqualified individuals,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Lora sold out the trust placed in him as a motor vehicle clerk and now faces serious criminal charges, thanks to the vigilance of the MVC and the work of our detectives and attorneys.”

“This indictment sends a strong warning to those who participate in the illegal brokering and sale of driver’s licenses,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We’ll continue to work with the MVC to root out dishonest clerks and aggressively prosecute anyone involved in this type of criminal scheme.”
“The MVC does not tolerate any type of criminal activity whatsoever, either from customers or employees,” said MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez. “Working together with our partners in law enforcement, we continue to make great strides in weeding out fraud and abuse, while enhancing security throughout our entire organization.”

The following nine additional defendants were charged in the indictment with second-degree conspiracy, second-degree computer criminal activity, and third-degree tampering with public records:

Alleged Runners
Masood Ahmadi, 54, of Lake Hiawatha, N.J., is the owner of Ideal Transportation, a school bus company that holds busing contracts with several schools and school districts in northern New Jersey. He allegedly recruited customers seeking commercial driver’s licenses into the scheme. Most were relatives of his or were seeking employment as bus drivers with Ideal Transportation.

Luis Tiburcio, 46, of Passaic, N.J.
Carlos Vicuna, 36, of Elizabeth, N.J.
Alleged Co-Conspirators at Lodi MVC Agency
Rosa Vargas, 51, of Lodi, N.J., an MVC clerk, allegedly obtained a motorcycle permit without taking the required written exam. Lora allegedly entered a passing written exam score for her.

Mark Hingston, 55, of Toms River, N.J., a private security guard at the Lodi MVC Agency, allegedly obtained a commercial driver’s permit and license without passing the required written exam. Lora allegedly entered a passing written exam score for him.
Alleged Customers

Wander Jimenez-Villanueva, 25, of Bogota, N.J., allegedly obtained a Class D driver’s license without passing the required written exam. Lora allegedly entered a passing written exam score for him. Jimenez-Villanueva previously had failed the exam on four occasions.

Angel Nunez-Lora, 27, of Parlin, N.J., allegedly obtained a commercial driver’s license without passing the required written exam. Lora allegedly entered a passing written exam score for him. Nunez-Lora previously had failed the exam on one occasion.

Jose Lora, 44, of Newark, N.J., who is Rodman Lora’s brother, allegedly obtained a commercial driver’s license without passing the required written exam. Lora allegedly entered a passing written exam score for him.

Wilge Rojas, 55, of Clifton, N.J., allegedly obtained a commercial driver’s license without passing the required written exam. Lora allegedly entered a passing written exam score for him. Rojas previously had failed the exam on one occasion.

Deputy Attorney General Christopher Keating presented the indictment to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau. The investigation was conducted by Deputy Attorney General Keating, Detective Cecil Boone, Sgt. Kelly Howard, Detective Jessica Marcacci and Analyst Terri Drumm, under the supervision of Sgt. Andrea Salvatini, Lt. Bill Newsome, Deputy Bureau Chief Andrew Johns, Deputy Bureau Chief Jacqueline Smith, and Division of Criminal Justice Deputy Director Jill Mayer.

The Motor Vehicle Commission uncovered the alleged scheme involving Lora and referred the case to the Division of Criminal Justice after an initial internal investigation and audit. Attorney General Porrino thanked the Motor Vehicle Commission’s Division of Security, Investigations & Internal Audit for its referral and valuable assistance. He also thanked the following agencies that assisted in the investigation: New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey Department of Treasury-Division of Payroll, Lodi Police Department, Bergen County Sheriff’s Department, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $15,000. The charges of official misconduct and pattern of official misconduct carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison without possibility of parole upon conviction.

The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Bergen County, where the defendants will be ordered to appear in court for arraignment on the charges at a later date.

Attorney General Porrino and Director Honig noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has a toll-free tip line 866-TIPS-4CJ for the public to report corruption, financial crime and other illegal activities. The public can also log on to the Division of Criminal Justice webpage at to report suspected wrongdoing confidentially.

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nj MVC drivers licenses

December 7,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hackensack NJ, Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal announced the arrest of MOHAMAD KHALAIFEH (DOB: 8/13/1981; single; and unemployed) of 386 Getty Avenue, Apt 3, Paterson, New Jersey on Identity Theft and Tampering with Public Records charges. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti.

In September 2017, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office received information from New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission representatives who had identified KHALAIFEH as an individual who had provided the personal identifying information and documents of another person to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission in order to obtain a New Jersey driver’s license. The fraud was identified as a result of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s ongoing anti-fraud initiative.

Upon receipt of the information, detectives conducted an investigation which revealed that KHALAIFEH had, in fact, received a New Jersey driver’s license as a result of fraud.

On December 4, 2017, KHALAIFEH was arrested at his residence in Paterson, New Jersey, and charged with one count of Obtaining a New Jersey Driver’s License/ Identification by Knowingly Displaying or Uttering the Personal Identifying Information and Documents of Another, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17.2a, a 2nd degree crime; and one count of Tampering with Public Records with the Intent to Defraud, N.J.S.A. 2C:28-7a(2), a 3rd degree crime. KHALAIFEH was charged by way of a criminal complaint summons and was released pending his first appearance in Bergen County Central Judicial Court on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.

Prosecutor Grewal states that these charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt

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Village of Ridgewood Vehicles Once Again show Lapsed Inspection Stickers

village of ridgewood lapsed inspection
September 23,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, its “It’s déjà vu all over again.”  ,once again  the inspection status has been allowed to lapse on some Village Vehicles . Long time readers will remember in 2011 and 2015 the Ridgewood blog reported on lapsed inspections on village vehicles.

In 2015 we asked , “Does anyone know if the Village of Ridgewood (VOR) is exempt from NJ State Department of Motor Vehicle regulations as they pertain to motor vehicle inspection?”  The answer was and is NO.

In 2011 A vehicle owned by the Village of Ridgewood, and being driven by a Village employee, was stopped on South Maple Avenue earlier this week in connection with a checkpoint established by Ridgewood PD and the NJ Division of Motor Vehicles (NJDMV).
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Assemblymen Robert Auth’s Bill Prohibits MVC from imposing duplicate license fee if duplicate is requested to reflect change in organ donor status

Assemblyman Robert J


July 14,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Old Tappan NJ, time to update your donor status on your drivers license. The demand for organ transplantation has rapidly increased all over the world during the past decade due to the increased incidence of vital organ failure, the rising success and greater improvement in posttransplant outcome. However, the unavailability of adequate organs for transplantation to meet the existing demand has resulted in major organ shortage crises.

According to Assemblymen Robert Auth , “It took three years but I can proudly say that we did it! It all started during my time at the Department of Motor Vehicles. I noticed that people who wanted to become organ donors and change their licenses to reflect their new status had to pay an additional fee to do so; and I knew that was wrong. As soon as I became your Assemblyman I worked to change this, and today the Governor signs it into law.”

I am astonished that I live in a state with people who would think it was OK to charge some more for a drivers license who is willing to be an organ donor ( ) and Trenton wonders why some many people continue to more out of the state to far greener pastures .

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MVC extends expirations following government shutdown

nj MVC drivers licenses

Updated on July 4, 2017 at 7:46 PMPosted on July 4, 2017 at 4:17 PM


NJ Advance Media for

TRENTON — Motorists whose licenses, learner’s permits, registrations or inspections expired on Friday, before the state was thrown into a three-day government shutdown, will get a two-day reprieve.

The Motor Vehicle Commission said it will give drivers until Thursday to get their documents updated.

Motor Vehicle Commission offices typically open for business Saturday and Monday were closed as part of the government shutdown that also shuttered state-run beaches, parks and courts after lawmakers failed to agree on a fiscal year budget by the July 1 deadline.

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Why there’s a chance N.J. licenses won’t work as ID at airports this fall

nj MVC drivers licenses

By Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for
on May 10, 2017 at 9:39 AM, updated May 10, 2017 at 11:37 AM

New Jersey may not make an October deadline to have state driver’s licenses conform to stricter security requirements to meet the federal Real ID act.

The state may need a “short extension” past October to meet the standards, said Ray Martinez, Motor Vehicle Commission chief administrator.

“We are very confident it will be done by the end of the year, but it may not be in October,” Martinez said at an assembly budget committee hearing on Monday. “Real ID compliance is top priority.”

New Jersey is one of 12 states that have an extension until October. A first extension was granted in January 2016 by the federal Department of Homeland Security.

Not meeting the Real ID requirements would mean New Jersey driver’s licenses and non-license ID cards issued by the MVC would not be accepted at airports for identification. Currently, licenses and other ID issued in four states are not accepted for identification by federal agencies because they don’t meet Real ID standards.

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6 reasons the dark days of N.J.’s old DMV hell may have returned


By Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for
on October 19, 2016 at 9:00 AM, updated October 19, 2016 at 11:13 AM

As little as three years ago, an story declared the “bad old days of the DMV” — long lines, rude employees and a bureaucracy from hell, were a thing of the past.

In 2002, then Gov. James E. McGreevey convened the “Fix DMV” commission, which delivered a report about how to deal with the Division of Motor Vehicles chronic problems of lines, long waits and inefficiencies. The Nov. 2002 report led to the creation of the current Motor Vehicle Commission.

Under the MVC, wait times and lines had gotten shorter. Even beleaguered Jersey drivers stuck up for the agency, saying that it was better than it used to be.

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Long lines at N.J. motor vehicle offices prompt legislative hearings



Ranking state legislative leaders announced hearings as early as next month in an effort to fix a failing state computer system that has helped create extra-long lines at many of New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission offices this summer. John Chichowski, The Record Read more

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NJ Motor Vehicle Commission : Long Lines and Wait Times at Month End


August 3,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Oakland NJ, recent wait times at the MVC are being blamed on  the fact that the newer MVC computer system seems to be overwhelming the antiquated state of NJ main frame system, causing all to frequent computer crashes .

The NJ MVC worked with Hewlett Packard in 2008 to develop the MATRX which was supposed to bring major technological upgrades to the agency, well it did but the state lags far behind.

The MVC began a transformation project in January 2015 after severing its ties with Hewlett Packard. The agency says that it will operations from the mainframe onto a cloud. The transition has not gone as smoothly as planed . The agency initaly spent $21 million on the up grade and followed up with another $16 million.

Currently the Agency is working on an effort to streamline the number of computer screens and windows to just one this should help move customers along faster.

Governor Chris Christie recommended customers not waiting till the last minute or the end of the month to visit the MVC. The lines are short and there is less chance of computer issues.

The agency also says that it also wants to promote their Skip the Trip program which allows drivers to renew their licenses from home.