DMV employee last to be sentenced in driver’s license scam
The third of a trio involved in a scam to sell Colorado driver’s licenses to illegal aliens was sentenced in Ninth District Court Friday.
Patricia Jane Kay was sentenced by District Court Judge T. Peter Craven to two concurrent four-year terms in the Colorado Department of Corrections state prison. She will serve four years for bribery and four years for theft by computer.
Kay pleaded guilty to bribery and computer crime – described as “using a computer for devising a scheme to defraud.” The charge also takes into account the fact that Kay was a public servant when she committed the crime. She worked behind the desk at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the Glenwood Springs Mall where she distributed drivers’ licenses.
Kay, 51, of Silt, would normally be looking at four to 12 years for each of the two counts. But in a plea bargain, the District Attorney agreed to recommend she receive no more than eight years in the state prison.
In sentencing Kay, Craven noted the scheme involved selling 40 licenses at $1,500 a piece.
“The defendant got at least her share of that. But the real problem is not the amount of money that passed hands, but the violation of trust,” he said. “It distorted a public function in which the public has unquestioned faith. What the defendant has done here is to infect that process by taking bribes and using a computer to facilitate the crimes.”
Before being sentenced Kay spoke on her own behalf.
“I have no excuse. I just want to apologize to my family and my friends,” she said.
Kay appeared unprepared to go directly to jail after Craven pronounced the sentence. She asked the deputy if she could say good-bye to her husband, Rick, whom she tearfully embraced. Then she turned away and was led out the courtroom door to the county jail.
Kay, along with Virginia Escalante, 44, and Fernando Escalante, 32, was arrested on Oct. 31, 2001, after Glenwood Springs police completed an undercover sting operation.
Kay was a full-time employee of the Department of Motor Vehicles office and the Escalantes were contract workers who administered driving tests.
The driving tests were falsified by the Escalantes. When the illegal aliens went to the driver’s license office to complete their paperwork, Kay falsified their documents to state the persons were legally entitled to receive the license.
The licenses were sold for $400 to $1,500.
In addition to the criminal charges, the Escalantes and Kay have been named in a district court civil suit filed June 28 aimed at recovering $111,938 in cash netted in the scam, as well as a GMC Suburban and a white Lincoln.
The suit was filed under a Colorado law created to “abate a public nuisance” and seize illegally obtained money and wares.
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