Fraud Prevention and Detection: Motor Vehicle Individual

This award is presented to individuals who made a specific contribution to thwart motor vehicle agency-related crime, such as a clerk who recognizes an individual who repeatedly submitted transactions, a technician who detected title fraud, a special agent who discovered odometer fraud, etc.

This is a motor vehicle individual award and is awarded one per each region and among those, an international winner is selected.

Each agency may submit only ONE entry.

Criteria for selection:

  • Individual’s identified fraud or attempted fraud led to further actions to decrease fraud and/or the apprehension of the perpetrators
  • Individual’s actions were “above and beyond” normal job duties
  • Outcomes were measurable

2023 Winners

International and Region 1

Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration

Rose Bianca, Senior Investigator

Senior Investigator Rose Bianca at the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) has become the de facto contact for many financial institutions and government agencies for her efforts to thwart fraudsters using phony Maryland driver’s licenses and/or identification cards to obtain money and goods. In the past year, Rose has conducted 230 investigations at the request of financial institutions by verifying Maryland driver’s licenses, identification cards, vehicle titles, liens, and tag numbers. With Rose’s assistance, several financial institutions prevented numerous accounts from being opened with fake identification. Rose’s efforts during the last year saved Maryland financial institutions nearly $200,000 in fraudulent losses. Recently, Rose verified a fake ID and helped identify the culprit who opened three accounts at a financial institution worth $45,000. The organization reached out to Rose on a Saturday, and she quickly confirmed there was no product on record for the fraudster. Because of her quick action, the organization was able to lock down the accounts to prevent any further loss and save $26,000. Rose’s work ultimately led to criminal ID theft charges being filed against the fraudster. Rose also partnered with the Maryland Department of Labor which experienced a surge in unemployment claims during the height of the COVID19 pandemic. The Labor Department’s efforts to distribute Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Benefits to eligible workers unfortunately attracted many fraudsters and identity thieves, who took advantage of the program. Rose regularly assisted the Labor Department in quashing fraudulent unemployment claims by verifying both Maryland and out of state identity products. Additionally, Rose is MDOT MVA’s Identity Crime Program Manager at the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC). In her role at the MCAC, Rose provides training to law enforcement personnel and financial institution investigators on how to identify fraudulent Maryland identity products. Rose’s forty-five years of experience has enabled her to create these partnerships and she has become the “go to” person in Maryland for any questions regarding counterfeit and/or altered identity products.

Region 2

Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles

Cristian "Cris" Machidon, Senior Motor Vehicle Investigator

In May 2022, Senior Motor Vehicle Investigator Cris Machidon was assigned to investigate and successfully developed a complex case involving Evo Auto Sales LLC and its associated persons. The case was initially opened based on a complaint from a lienholder on a 2017 Mercedes sold through the dealership (then known as Speed Auto Sales) using a New York title with no lien reflected. Investigator Machidon identified the existence of an ongoing auto theft and illegal export scheme of more than 60 high-end luxury vehicles, which had been titled in Florida by the suspects through the use of lien-stripped New York and New Jersey titles, and counterfeit Arizona titles. Investigator Machidon has served an integral role in escalating this now multijurisdictional effort through coordination with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Florida Office of Financial Regulation, Bureau of Financial Investigations, and out-of-state DMV Investigators. The coordination and evidence he compiled through in-person interviews, records inspections, and elaborate queries through multiple systems served as a major contributing factor and led to significant results. In early October 2022, more than 12 suspects were arrested by MDPD on charges of grand theft. A total of 15 vehicles have been recovered to date.

Region 3

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

David Wood, Investigator

Investigator David Wood conducted a lengthy and thorough investigation into an auto theft organization. His efforts helped to spearhead law enforcement collaboration to identify and recover 9 stolen vehicles. Additionally, his investigation and subsequent charges exposed a corrupt license agency employee and dismantled the criminal syndicate. Investigator Wood initiated this investigation in November 2020 when he was contacted in reference to a vehicle that was taken for a test drive and never returned by the suspect. After collaborating with law enforcement agencies, numerous stolen vehicles were recovered. Additionally, he reviewed patterns of Ohio temp tag registrations issued and identified and filed charges on a corrupt license agency employee that was issuing temp tags to help cloak the identities of the stolen vehicles. Wood identified and filed charges on two individuals who accepted cash payment to utilize stolen identities and purport to be the other person to secure Ohio temporary tag registrations for the stolen vehicles. The two individuals who obtained the fraudulent registrations within the license agency were sentenced to periods of probation. The corrupt license agency clerk pleaded guilty to amended charges and was sentenced to 18 months at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to be followed by 3 years post-release control for her role in support of the conspiracy from inside a Deputy Registrar’s office. Ultimately, the case was completed when the main suspect was charged with felony counts of tampering with records, forgery and theft. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a total of 7 years in prison for his role as the leader of this conspiracy.