Slammer For Florida Woman Selling Fraudulent CDL Licenses

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Ethan Barton Editor in Chief
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A Florida woman was sentenced to 10 months in prison for helping 400 people obtain phony commercial driver’s licenses by covertly giving them answers during tests and for falsifying documents.

Natalia Dontsova was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Orlando, Fla. Dec. 21 for conspiracy to unlawfully produce Florida driver licenses and CDLs, according to the Department of Transportation Inspector General. She pleaded guilty in October and will also spend a year of supervised release following her prison time.

Fake drivers licenses and other fraudulently obtained official credentials are often essential to terrorists’ ability to maintain their anonymity prior to carrying out attacks. Most of the 9/11 terrorists, for example, had drivers licenses issued by Virginia and other states.

School bus drivers, commercial movers and semi-trailer truck operators, among others, are required to have CDLs.

The investigation – conducted by the IG, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security – began “after Florida Highway Patrol and the Orange County Florida Tax Collector’s Office discovered several hundred people people applying for CDLs using the same residential address in Seminole County,” according to the IG.

The address was actually for Larex Incorporated – a trucking school owned and operated by Ellariy Medvednik. Larex directed its marketing efforts to Russian language speakers and charged students $1,800 to $5,000 in return for getting a Florida CDL.

Dontsova falsified documents to “satisfy Florida CDL residency requirements,” and provided answers to students during CDL testing.

“In all, the conspirators made it possible for at least 400 students to obtain fraudulent Florida CDLs,” the statement said.

Dontsova, Medvednik and Adrian Salari were charged in August with conspiracy to unlawfully produce Florida driver licenses and CDLs.

The investigation also exposed more than 2,000 other drivers who were improperly awarded CDLs.

“Drivers were given a maximum of 60 days to retest or their CDLs would be cancelled,” the IG said.

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