FBI busts cash-for-licenses scheme for illegal immigrants

April 18, 2012
By Pierce Greenburg
Nashville, TN

The FBI issued a criminal complaint today against a driver's license examiner in Nashville who allegedly assisted illegal immigrants with obtaining genuine licenses without passing the necessary tests.

According to the complaint, Larry Murphy, who worked at the state's Hart Lane facility, accepted more than $5,000 to help undercover FBI employees obtain commercial and regular driver's licenses since January.

He is now charged with a felony of corruptly accepting payment as an agent of the state of Tennessee.

The FBI used an informant to contact Anna Castillo, a woman who was under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security.

Castillo acted as a middleman between the undercover agents and Murphy. She was also charged today with bribery of an agent of the state of Tennessee and sale of a citizenship document.

According to the complaint, Murphy falsely noted that the undercover agents passed driver's exams and even assisted one of them in making up a social security number.

The most recent offense took place yesterday when an undercover agent failed the three exams required for a commercial driver's license, but Murphy gave him a license anyway. Overall, the undercover agents provided $13,500 to Castillo.

Murphy made $27,420 a year, according to the state's employee salary database. Tennessee Department of Safety spokeswoman Dayla Qualls said Murphy was currently on discretionary leave with pay pending a federal investigation.

A warrant for Murphy's arrest was issued today.

FBI busts cash-for-licenses scheme for illegal immigrants | Nashville City Paper