SF resident charged with disabled parking fraud

The California Department of Motor Vehicles announced on Wednesday that a San Francisco resident is facing multiple felony charges for allegedly filing several fraudulent disabled parking placard applications.

San Francisco’s District Attorney’s office filed six felony charges that involved Montana Le’s alleged activity in defrauding the DMV. Officials with the DMV said Le is linked to more than 34 fraudulent applications.

Calvin Woo, DMV supervising investigator, said in a statement:

“Our investigation revealed that Le had a number of parking placards registered to his home address. Most of them were issued to different people and all signed by the same doctor.”

Woo added that the doctor’s signature was forged, which is a felony.

DMV officials said Le could face up to four years in prison and fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for each violation. Le was released on June 2 after posting a $80,000 bail.

Le’s arrest was linked to a previous disabled parking placard scheme in 2014 involving another San Francisco resident, Yessi Morales.

Morales was charged in July 2014 with 34 felony counts for defrauding the DMV with fraudulent parking placards who purchased the placards from Le.

The DMV was able to arrest both Morales and Le thanks in part of the department’s Operation Blue Zone. Since the launch of the program in 2014, the DMV has devoted resources for investigators to focus on flagging on fraudulent parking placard applications, DMV officials said.

Investigators look for suspected forged doctor signatures, similar applicant and doctor handwriting, the frequency of applications from the same doctor and suspicion of a false medical diagnosis.

Since Feb. 2014, investigators have opened 176 cases, in which 36 suspects were charged with multiple felonies and eight arrests were made involving fraudulent parking placard applications. There are 46 cases that are still active.

The DMV has also been cracking down on parking placard abusers. In May, the DMV issued 135 misdemeanor citations to individuals for fraudulently using a parking placard.

Anyone who believes an individual is abusing a parking placard can contact a local DMV investigations office and file a written complaint anonymously. Complaint forms are also available online at www.dmv.ca.gov and at the local DMV field office.