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August 30, 2017

U.S.: PennDOT official took bribes, issued licenses to undocumented and untested Philly drivers

Crime Bribery
06082016_Roosevelt_boulevard_generic_TC Thom Carroll, File/PhillyVoice

Roosevelt Boulevard.

A former PennDOT employee is accused of taking cash bribes in a 28-page federal indictment unsealed Wednesday.

In exchange, Henry Gibbs allegedly issued driver's licenses to people who never took the required driver's test and could not provide adequate proof of residency, officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia said in a statement.

Gibbs, who worked as a driver's license examiner at PennDOT's facility on Island Avenue in Philadelphia's Eastwick neighborhood, allegedly took falsified insurance records, telephone bills and tax letters with stolen information to establish proof of residence for applicants, including some foreign nationals, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

Prosecutors allege that Gibbs had a deal with Bakary Camara, a middle man of sorts who, on several occasions, allegedly paid Gibbs anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 in cash and gave him a list of names, dates of birth, driver's license numbers and social security numbers. Under this arrangement, Gibbs falsely checked off on requirements for those individuals and improperly handed out both non-commercial and commercial driver's licenses, officials claim.

PennDOT officials told PhillyVoice on Wednesday that Gibbs worked with the department from July 2011 to June 2015.

"PennDOT is pleased with the outcome of the investigation and worked very closely with the Department of Homeland Security throughout the investigation," read a statement from the department.

Gibbs, 54, is a Yeadon native, according to He and Camara were charged with conspiracy to produce identification documents without lawful authority and bribery concerning agencies receiving federal funds. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum term of 15 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine, and the bribery charges could carry a sentence of up to 10 years.

Gibbs was released on bond Tuesday after a court appearance, and Camara remained in custody pending a detention hearing on Friday, reported.

Officials did not say how investigators busted the arrangement.