Army Vet Admits Forgery-For-Cash Scheme to Help Drivers Fraudulently Obtain CDLs
Greenbelt, MD – An Army veteran has pleaded guilty to forgery and identity theft charges in connection with a scheme to help drivers fraudulently obtain commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Philip Mungin, age 58, of Bryans Road, MD, provided fraudulent DD-214 discharge certificates to individuals for fraudulent military waiver applications for CDLs in exchange for payment.
As part of a 2011 United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) program to help military veterans more easily obtain a CDL, veterans are not required take the skills portion of the CDL exam if they submit their DD-214 and complete a waiver application, signed by the applicant’s commanding officer, to certify that they have the relevant driving experience.
As detailed in Mungin’s plea agreement, he admitted to falsifying DD-214s and military waiver forms for drivers wanting to obtain CDLs, in exchange for the drivers paying him — reportedly between $500 to $2,000 each.
Mungin’s scheme was first noticed in December 2018 when employees at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) office in Waldorf became suspicious of waiver documents submitted by an applicant.
MVA employees confronted the applicant, who they learned had never been in the military.
The applicant later identified Mungin as the person who offered to help him get a CDL by submitting falsified military paperwork.
MVA investigators subsequently learned that 44 individuals had submitted fraudulent waiver applications.
Additionally, 34 of the fraudulent applications had the name, title and forged signature of the “Senior Transition Specialist” — identified only as “Victim 1” — who processed Mungin’s DD-214 when he left the Army in 1999.
Many of the drivers who obtained CDLs based on fraudulent military paperwork identified Mungin as the person who helped them, according to court documents.
Employees at the Waldorf MVA were familiar with Mungin because he often accompanied applicants with fraudulent paperwork to obtain their licenses, typically wearing a military uniform while doing so.
At times, Mungin told the employees he was a member of the military police accompanying members who were about to be discharged to obtain their CDLs, DOJ prosecutors said.
At least one fraudulent CDL was issued in Virginia using the same forged DD-214 that Mungin had used with the Maryland drivers.
In that application, Mungin listed himself as the commanding officer on the waiver form, court documents show.
Mungin acknowledged that he received between $15,000 and $40,000 to create false military paperwork, including DD-214s, to assist drivers in fraudulently obtaining CDLs.
He faces a maximum sentence of one year in federal prison for forgery of a military discharge certificate and a maximum of 15 years in federal prison for identity theft.
His sentencing is scheduled for August 16, 2021.
Additionally, Mungin will be required to forfeit any money, property, or assets derived as a result of, or used to facilitate, the commission of his illegal activities, and will also be required to pay a money judgment of $2,000.