Those arrested Wednesday include three guards at the state Department of Motor Vehicles office in New York City's Harlem neighborhood, the New York Daily News reported. The scheme was allegedly organized by Akmal Narzikulov, who told police he works for a commercial ambulance company.
The suspects appeared before a judge in federal court in Brooklyn. The scheme was allegedly carried out at DMV offices in lower Manhattan, the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens and in Massapequa on Long Island as well as in Harlem in upper Manhattan.
Investigators say test-takers paid bribes of $2,000 to $2,500 to allow them to cheat on the exam. Methods allegedly used included having other people sit the test, allowing test-takers to leave the room to get help with answers and providing pencils with answers etched in code.
In one case, a surrogate test-taker was secretly videotaped as she filled out answer sheets in a fast-food restaurant, an agent with the Department of Homeland Security said.
Commercial licenses are required to drive school buses, large trucks and heavy equipment.
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