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Woman indicted on license fraud allegations

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

A 33-year-old Ellenwood woman has been indicted on charges that she conspired to issue drivers licenses to 136 illegal immigrants.

Shijuanna V. Cobb was indicted by a federal grand jury, along with Rickell Patterson, a 31-year-old from Covington, Angela Read, a 38-year-old from Lithonia, and Chardye Lloyd, a 23-year-old from Conyers.

The four worked together at the Georgia Department of Driver Services, at Customer Service Center No. 67 in Lithonia, and were allegedly selling licenses to illegals for $7,000 or $8,000.

"Corruption in public employment is intolerable," said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. "Our office has a long tradition of investigating and prosecuting those who violate the public's trust at every level of government. In this case, several Driver Services examiners allegedly abused their positions for cash."

The four were allegeldy paid between $952,000 and $1.08 million for the licenses, between January and August 2007.

According to federal prosecutors, Harikrishna and Satishkumar Patel would bring the aliens down from Nashville, Tenn., arranging for the illegal aliens to get the licenses without taking tests or proving legal residency.

Officials are discontinuing the licenses, but have only been able to locate three of the alleged 136 people with the fraudulently issued driver's licenses.

The four at Customer Service Station No. 67 were also charged, in a separate indictment, on allegations that they issued themselves commercial drivers licenses. Without passing tests, they issued the licenses and used them to get jobs as MARTA bus drivers.

Cobb left her job early this year. She was arrested and arraigned, along with her co-workers, late Wednesday.

Cobb and her three co-workers were charged with conspiracy, identity fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Cobb faces a maximum possible sentence of 32 years in federal prison. She could also face a fine of $500,000.