Letters/press releases to the editor

Want to send this page or a link to a friend? Click on mail at the top of this window.
Letters are welcome and should be addressed to the Editor at Wehaitians.com. E-mail: letters@wehaitians.com
Posted July 2, 2007


State Police locate man found guilty in RMV scheme
June 2, 2007
CONTACT: Beth Stone
(617) 727-2543

CAMBRIDGE - A Billerica man who was convicted at trial in May but fled shortly before the jury returned its guilty verdict was arrested on Friday night by State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office. Michelet Joacine, age 37, is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow morning in Cambridge District Court for failure to appear (1 count). Joacine's arraignment follows his default at his trial in May on charges that he bribed Registry of Motor Vehicle (RMV) clerks and those bribes were paid in exchange for false Massachusetts driver's licenses.


Michelet Joacine.jpg (8969 bytes)
Michelet Joacine

Since his default at trial, State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office had been actively searching for Joacine and contacted federal authorities for assistance. Additionally, the Attorney General's Office received information from the Haitian American community as to his possible whereabouts. State Police, with the public's assistance as well as other investigative tools, located Joacine at a Brockton house where he was arrested without incident Friday night with assistance from the Brockton Police Department.

On May 30, 2007, a Middlesex Superior Court jury deliberated for two hours prior to finding Joacine guilty of paying bribes (2 counts) and uttering records (2 counts). Joacine, a native of Haiti, who had posted $40,000 bail, had attended the four previous days of trial before failing to appear in court on the final day of trial. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Hiller B. Zobel issued a default warrant for Joacine and ordered the trial to continue. This morning that default warrant was removed and Joacine was held without bail pending sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled before the court.

Joacine's trial followed a lengthy investigation in 2004 by State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office into allegations that Joacine and two other former temporary RMV employees were involved in a scheme to accept bribes in exchange for the issuance of full driver's licenses to people who were not eligible for legitimate licenses.

According to authorities, the two clerks worked at the RMV branch in Melrose, located at 40 Washington Street and at the Cambridgeside Galleria satellite RMV office during various periods in 2003. Registry officials detected fraudulent activity by one of the clerks and initiated an investigation which was then referred to the Attorney General's office. That investigation found that Joacine recruited clients in need of driver licenses and then directed them to RMV clerks within the Melrose RMV branch or the Cambridgeside satellite office. Joacine provided his clients with the forged documents necessary to obtain their licenses. Clients paid approximately $2,500 to $3,000 to Joacine, who in turn paid a portion of that money to the clerks. Authorities found that more than 100 licenses were unlawfully issued in exchange for bribes paid by Joacine.

Today in Middlesex Superior Court, Judge Kenneth Fishman removed the default warrant against Joacine and ordered him held without bail. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date on the charges he was convicted of during his May trial.

A criminal complaint issued has issued charging Joacine with Failure to Appear (1 count). He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge Tuesday morning in Cambridge District Court. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Marc Jones and David Waterfall.

© 1999 - 2007 · Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.

Related text: Billerica man, Michelet Joacine, bolts, then convicted in license scam

Wehaitians.com, the scholarly journal of democracy
More from wehaitians.com
Main / Columns / Books And Arts / Miscellaneous