Driving school owner, employee arrested for taking bribes for documents to obtain driver's licenses

AURORA, Colo. - The owner and a secretary of an Aurora-based driving school are charged with several crimes connected to accepting bribes in exchange for falsifying state documents to get licenses or permits.

Stuart Bryan King, 52, of Centennial, owns Little Lake Driving Academy at 1415 Havana Street in Aurora. Griselda Trevino De Valenzuela, 42, of Aurora, was an employee of that driving academy.

Both face charges of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. In addition, De Valenzuela faces counts of aggravated identity theft and social security fraud. King also faces a count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

According to the indictment, the driving academy was authorized to administer written and driving tests on behalf of the state. King is a licensed tester with the state and was authorized to teach driver's education and certify passing tests.

De Valenzuela allegedly acted as the secretary or manager of the business. Her duties included collecting documents from the applicants, translating some documents from English to Spanish, grading the written tests and collecting money from applicants.

King and De Valenzuela are accused of charging $130 to $420 in cash in return for fraudulently issuing passing grades. The applicants could bring those fraudulent documents to the DMV to get a license or permit.

According to the document, some of the applicants could not pass the test because of their insufficient knowledge of the English language.

The indictment also alleges that the driving academy and conspirators brought non-English speakers to Colorado from Missouri and other states. Those people had previously bought the stolen identity information of U.S. citizens and obtained Missouri identification cards with those names.

The Missouri IDs were turned in to obtain Colorado licenses and instruction permits.

As part of this investigation, 20 people who had turned in Missouri identification cards were indicted in Colorado for aggravated identity theft, according to Department of Justice spokesman Jeff Dorschner.

According to a statement from the senior director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, all 114 driving schools in Colorado that are licensed to test customers are audited each year.

According to Dorschner, this case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, the Colorado Department of Revenue, Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

King is currently free on a $100,000 property bond but De Valenzuela is being held in custody without bond.