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Two charged with bribing official in DeKalb County Tax Commissioner’s Office

Crime and public safety Metro ATL

Two charged with bribing official in DeKalb County Tax Commissioner’s Office

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DeKalb County, GA — Two women have been charged with bribing a former supervisor in the DeKalb County Tax Commissioner’s Office.

That supervisor, Gerald Harris, was recently sentenced after pleading guilty to federal bribery and blackmail charges. Harris had pleaded guilty to taking bribes to unlawfully register vehicles and then blackmailing someone paying a bribe by threatening to turn them over to the FBI.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, Lesbia Moreno and Ailin Maldonado have been charged with paying bribes to Harris.

“Moreno and Maldonado allegedly paid multiple bribes to register illegally vehicles without the necessary documentation,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said in a press release. “Whether you offer a bribe or take a bribe, corruption betrays the trust of our citizens in government and will subject you to federal prosecution.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges that “from at least May 2019 to November 8, 2019, Moreno and Maldonado repeatedly paid Harris bribe payments to register unlawfully vehicles for owners without presenting a valid Georgia driver’s license or identification card.”

“Under state law, a vehicle owner could not register a vehicle or receive a license plate unless they presented a valid Georgia driver’s license or identification card at the time of application,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Nevertheless, in exchange for bribe payments, typically $200 per vehicle, Harris unlawfully registered and obtained license places for owners identified by Moreno and Maldonado. During this period, Moreno and Maldonado each gave Harris thousands of dollars in bribe payments.”

Moreno, 46, was indicted by a federal grand jury on nine counts of honest services wire fraud on Dec. 1, 2020. That same day, Maldonado was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts of honest services wire fraud in a separate indictment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

 

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