Last week, a Maryland man admitted accepting payment in exchange for fraudulent military documents as part of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) scheme.
On April 23, 58 year old Army Veteran Philip Mungin pleaded guilty to federal charges of forgery of a military discharge certificate and identity theft in a District Court in Maryland.
Mungin was enlisted in the Army from 1997 through 1999. Upon Mungin’s discharge in 1999, Victim 1, was the “Senior Transition Specialist” who helped process Mungin’s discharge and signed Mungin’s military discharge certificate, known as the DD-214.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Maryland, in December 2018, workers at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) office in Waldorf, Maryland, became suspicious of waiver documents submitted by a CDL applicant and confronted the applicant. The applicant, who had never been in the military, identified Mungin as the person who offered to help him get a CDL by submitting falsified military paperwork.
MVA investigators learned that 44 applicants has submitted fraudulent waiver applications, and several of those applicants named Mungin as the person who had helped them obtain their CDL by supplying falsified military paperwork.
Federal authorities provided details on the scheme:
Thirty-four of the fraudulent applications had Victim 1’s name and title at the bottom of the form, many of which included a forged or photocopied version of Victim 1’s signature. The certifying commanding officer on nearly all of the fraudulent waiver forms was the same, a purported colonel. Department of Defense records showed that no person by that name had ever served in the U.S. military.
Specifically, Mungin admits that he falsified DD-214s and military waiver forms for drivers wanting to obtain CDLs, in exchange for the drivers paying Mungin—reportedly between $500 to $2,000 each. 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. 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.
Mungin admitted to receiving between $15,000 and $40,000 for helping drivers fraudulently obtain CDLs.
Mungin faces up to one year in federal prison for forgery of a military discharge certificate and a maximum of 15 years in federal prison for identity theft. He has been ordered to forfeit any money, property, or assets obtained from the illegal activity and ordered to pay $2000.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 16, 2021.
The Department of Transportation implemented a program in 2011 to help veterans transition into the civilian workforce by allowing states to waive the driving skills test for U.S. military veterans who could provide proof that they had been trained to operate the relevant vehicles in the military. To demonstrate their eligibility for the skills test waiver, veterans had to submit their DD-214 and complete an application signed by the applicant’s commanding officer to certify that they had the relevant driving experience.