Former state clerk charged with theft

Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A former clerk for the state Division of Motor Vehicles in Palmer is accused of exploiting a glitch in the agency's computer system to steal more than $10,000 in fees from customers reinstating suspended driver's licenses.

Darcy N. Riley, 28, of Wasilla faces charges of second-degree theft.

According to court documents, Riley pocketed $11,560 from more than 70 customers over the past year.

She manipulated a glitch in the computer software that allowed her to charge drivers the full price of up to $250 to reinstate their licenses, then later record the transaction as a $15 license replacement, the charging documents state.

Riley told officers she discovered the glitch by accident last June, the documents say.

She took the money only from people who paid cash, and she kept it in a drawer, according to court documents. Some she used to help other customers who were short of cash, she told police. She kept track of how much she took by writing it down on a piece of paper.

Nobody else in the office noticed she was taking the money, acting Palmer police chief Russ Boatright said.

Riley could not be reached for comment by the Anchorage Daily News on Monday.

Palmer police were tipped off to the thefts in May after DMV officials conducted an audit and noticed ''irregularities'' in transactions conducted by Riley, he said.

Officers then interviewed eight people who said they paid Riley between $100 and $250 to reinstate their licenses. In each case, the computer records showed they had been charged only $15, Boatright said.

People can lose their licenses for a variety of reasons, such as not paying child support, getting caught driving drunk, or not having automobile insurance.

The agency collects about $45 million in fees every year.

Riley is scheduled to appear in court in Palmer on July 17.

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