California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that two former California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers were arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court for allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for falsifying documents to register exotic “gray market” cars. They are charged with conspiracy and three counts each of accepting a bribe in connection with the scheme.
“CHP officers are charged with keeping our roads and the people of California safe and secure. Any law enforcement officer who abuses that authority for their own personal gain should be held accountable,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Bribery is a serious crime, and there is no place for these alleged acts in California law enforcement.”
The “gray market” refers to vehicles that are made and imported into the United States from other countries. In many cases, it is illegal to drive these cars in California because they do not meet state safety and/or emission standards, and therefore, cannot be registered. In 2016, the two former officers allegedly conspired to alter the Carfax and DMV documents of two “gray market” vehicles. In exchange for these acts, they allegedly received $35,000. The allegations were investigated by the California Highway Patrol. The California Department of Justice filed a felony complaint against the former officers on Jan. 19, 2021, and they self-surrendered to CHP investigators on Jan. 25, 2021.