DMV workers accused of conducting illegal license plate deals in St. Louis County

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Have you failed to pay your road taxes or failed your emissions test? That wasn’t a problem for drivers who visited a particular licensing office in northern St. Louis County, according to investigators.

DMV employees are being charged with illegal transactions that have resulted in us being surrounded by dozens of illegally licensed vehicles.

The DMV office in question is now closed. It’s located in West Florissant, just south of Interstate 270. According to court records, three employees at the site made ties to a church and a strip club to swindle money for illegal license plate deals.

The deals were uncovered after a year-long investigation by the Missouri Department of Treasury.

Court records show the secret deals cost between $50 and $2,100 in one case. The transactions reportedly left dozens of illegally marked vehicles now driving around with overdue taxes, no car insurance and without proper security checks.

We spoke to a former client who said, “This is crazy.” The man said he recently got his driver’s license locally and was surprised to hear about backroom deals.

“I don’t think that’s cool at all and I think they deserve to be shut down,” he said.

The Department of Treasury (DOR) confirmed to FOX 2 that state regulators have shut down the office.

A DOR representative said it was operated by a private company called York Management Group LLC and the state was now outsourcing the office to another contractor.

York Management lists a phone number on their website that is not connected and the company has not responded to our emails.

A former employee of a second registration office in Florissant is also being prosecuted, but in Florissant it is the registration office that discovered the anomalies.

“I noticed. I contacted our administrative director. He launched a full investigation and turned it over to the Central Investigation Bureau,” Claire Niswonger said.

The Florissant location is operated by Elle Management and will remain open. Niswonger says no one will get away with a backroom deal in her office for long.

“We have quite a number of protocols where our office managers are observing and supervising employees, screening them, conducting a daily audit and that coupled with the fact that we notice a few people coming in and asking for an employee by name, that’s very strange,” she said.

The defendants face court dates at the end of June.

“These are important public services,” said St. Louis County Attorney Wesley Bell. “This is taxpayer money and if you misuse these things you will be held accountable.”

Bell’s office is prosecuting four former DMV employees for serious crimes ranging from forgery to corruption by an officer.

“You see so many people struggling to pay their taxes and get their stamps, only to find out there are some working to essentially steal,” he said. DMV workers accused of conducting illegal license plate deals in St. Louis County

Nate Jones

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