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September 21, 11

NEWS / Philadelphia Woman Convicted for Role in Fraudulent Commercial Drivers Licenses Scheme

Eight Other Defendants Have Pleaded Guilty

WASHINGTON Ė A Philadelphia woman was convicted yesterday for her participation in a fraud scheme to provide out-of-state residents with Pennsylvania driverís licenses and Pennsylvania commercial driverís licenses (CDL), announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Special Agent in Charge George Venizelos of the FBI and Special Agent in Charge Douglas Shoemaker of the U.S. Department of Transportation-Office of the Inspector General (DOT-OIG).

After a five-day trial, a federal jury in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found Irina Rakhman, 54, guilty of conspiracy to produce fraudulent identification documents. To date, eight co-defendants have pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme: Vitaliy and Tatyana Kroshnev, Mikhail Aminov, Irina Peterson, Khrystyna Davyda, Leonid Vilchik, Tair Rustamov and Irina Starovoyt. Vitaliy Kroshnev also pleaded guilty to making a material false statement.

According to evidence presented at trial, Rakhman and her co-defendants used a company owned by the Kroshnevs, International Training Academy (ITA), to arrange for hundreds of non-residents of Pennsylvania to fraudulently obtain Pennsylvania driverís licenses and CDLs from 2006 to 2010. The defendants provided applicants with false Pennsylvania residency documents, as well as foreign language interpreters who, under the guise of providing translations, gave CDL applicants the answers to the written CDL permit test. The evidence at trial also established that the Kroshnevs paid members of the conspiracy, including Rakhman, for allowing their home addresses to be used by ITA clients who resided out-of-state to submit to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as false proof of Pennsylvania residency.

All defendants face a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge. Sentencings for all defendants are scheduled for November and December 2011.

The case was investigated by the FBI and DOT-OIG and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Margaret Vierbuchen of the Criminal Divisionís Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Labor and Michelle Morgan of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


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