A Bellevue employee pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to commit unlawful production of identification documents, according to the federal Department of Justice, and is scheduled to be sentenced in June.
According to the press release, the employee, Melinda Kay Johnson, admitted in a plea agreement that between June 2008 and February 2010, she accepted payment to provide Washington State identification cards at least nine times to people who either had false identities or did not provide proof of residence.
According to records in the case, the identification cards were then used to open bank accounts for use in a check-kiting scheme that caused Bank of America to sustain hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses, the Department of Justice reported.
Johnson was paid between $2,000 and $3,000 each time, and that the total amount of money she received over the course of the conspiracy was between $10,000 and $30,000, according to the press release.
Johnson's sentencing is scheduled for June 16, 2011.
Johnson's case is unrelated to a case resolved last year, , said Department of Justice spokeswoman Emily Langlie. In that case, two employees were working with a man who was flying people to Washington from other states to get licenses and identity cards from Washington, because the state does not require proof of legal immigration, despite a requirement of proof of state residency.
Langlie said that there is no pattern that indicates more fraud exists in the Bellevue Department of Licensing Office than in other licensing offices in the state.
"There is just an increased emphasis on weeding out this kind of corruption anywhere it happens," Langlie said. "There’s no big pattern regarding location."
She pointed out that another Department of Licensing employee from a different office Federal Way, Lacy Jones, Jr., 54, was sentenced Friday, March 4. to one year in prison and two years of supervised release in connection with conspiracy to commit unlawful production of identification documents.