Local News

Harnett DMV worker says she was duped in alleged title scheme

Posted February 10, 2012 4:47 p.m. EST
Updated February 10, 2012 7:04 p.m. EST

— A woman who handled paperwork on vehicle registrations and license plates for 34 years in Lillington said Friday that she was an unwitting participant in what state agents have called an illegal vehicle title scheme.

Janet Faye McLean, 57, of 1003 S. Second St. in Lillington, was charged last week with 113 counts each of felony title fraud, felony accessing a government computer to defraud and misdemeanor registration fraud.

Investigators with the Department of Insurance and the Division of Motor Vehicles say customers who didn't have a current identification or insurance, usually Latinos, would pay Angier insurance agent Dalia Soto Urbina $150 each to notarize their vehicle paperwork illegally.

Urbina would then take the paperwork to the Lillington License Plate Agency and paid McLean and a co-worker, Lynetta Greene, about $5,200 total over the past year to process the bad titles, authorities said.

"We've been accused of taking bribes, which I did not take," McLean said while sitting with her attorney. "I have taken no money from that insurance agent. I have no idea about her saying anything about the scheme. I have no knowledge."

The Lillington native, whom locals called a stickler for details, said she never altered any vehicle titles and noted that the paperwork Urbina brought to the office never raised any suspicions.

"Everything looked in order. All of it was there," she said. "I've never intentionally done anything wrong or caused any craziness for people."

The DMV closed the Lillington plate office, which is run by a private contractor, and the DOI is reviewing Urbina's license, although it hasn't closed her office, J&D Insurance.

Urbina, 42, of 35 Good Circle in Fuquay-Varina, is charged with 381 counts each of felony title fraud, criminal conspiracy and misdemeanor violations of motor vehicle provisions, 25 counts of obtaining property by false pretense and two counts each of forgery and notary fraud.

Greene, 35, of 170 Woodbridge Drive in Spring Lake, is charged with 260 counts each of felony title fraud, felony accessing a government computer to defraud and misdemeanor registration fraud.

McLean was presented with a key to Lillington in 2007 for her years of DMV work, and she said people in town have called her to express support in what has been a stressful week.

"I just couldn't believe it was happening," she said of her arrest. "It doesn't make any sense, and it still doesn't."