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Former state driver’s license examiner convicted of bribery

Staff Reports • Mar 8, 2017 at 11:09 AM

A federal jury convicted a former driver’s license examiner for the Tennessee Department of Safety in Nashville on Tuesday of bribery and four counts of conspiring to issue unlawful driver’s licenses, according to U.S. attorney David Rivera.

Walton Michael Wand, 52, of Antioch, used his position as a state employee to solicit and accept bribes in exchange for issuing driver’s licenses to unqualified individuals.

At trial, three co-conspirators testified against Wand, explaining Wand directed them to recruit other individuals, primarily Middle Easterners and Egyptians living around the Nashville area, to pay the bribes. 

Once he received the payments, Wand issued driver’s licenses to the individuals, many of whom had previously failed to pass the driver’s knowledge test.  

Co-conspirators Nourrdine Abidi and Youssef Aziz Abdelmalak both previously pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced March 17. 

Another co-conspirator, Faransis Faltas, also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring with Wand to issue unlawful driver’s licenses.  Faltas is scheduled to be sentenced May 19.

Wand faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each conspiracy conviction and another 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the bribery conviction.

 The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. attorneys Stephanie N. Toussaint and Ryan R. Raybould are prosecuting the case.

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