2 state workers, 4 others charged with driving certificate fraud

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Federal prosecutors today charged six people, including two state employees, in a conspiracy to issue fraudulent driving licenses and certificates for immigrants.

The state workers are driver's license examiners who work in Murfreesboro.

The indictment says that Safety Department employee Bruce Conklin and former employee Teresa Jones took bribes from a driving school, getting 20 dollars in cash for each of one-thousand students.

Bryan Guess, who owns the Winchester Driving School, was charged along with former school worker Sheila Robertson with paying bribes between May 2004 and March 2005.

According to a news release from prosecutors, Shun Gao paid more than $32,000 in cash for third-party certificates from the driving school. Guess is charged with accepting the cash from him for these certificates between August and December.

Syed Abbas Parvez, an illegal immigrant living in Georgia, was charged with transporting another illegal immigrant to Tennessee to get a fraudulent license through the driving school.

The joint federal-state investigation was dubbed Operation Crooked Highway.

Tennessee is one of the few states that issues driving certificates to illegal immigrants.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)