Brooklyn man paid to pass permit tests puts dangerous drivers on roads

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Stacey Sager reports on a man paid to pass permit tests.

Mario Gedeon was a familiar fixture at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Bethpage, repeatedly taking his driver's permit test. But that's because the 64-year-old was getting paid for it, by people who couldn't pass the test on their own.

The Brooklyn man has now pleaded guilty to a felony charge of filing a false instrument, for checking the "no" box on his paperwork when asked if he had a driver's license. Then, investigators say, Gedeon would take the permit test, deliberately fail it, and swap tests with the person paying him to pass. In one case, another Brooklyn man, Benjamin Wadler, paid him $800 to pass the test.

"So basically, this is a menace for us here in Nassau County and in other counties," Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. "What's disturbing is that the people who are paying him, they can't pass the permit test. And if they can't pass the permit test, they have no business driving on our roads."

The good news is that the DMV has now replaced the paper permit tests with track-able electronic ones. Gedeon was sentenced last week to five years probation and a $1,000 fine, but investigators suspect he committed many more similar crimes They already have charged him with other offenses at DMVs in both Richmond and Orange counties.

Outside the DMV in Bethpage Tuesday, drivers who legitimately obtained their permits were stunned that some drivers are so terrible that they'd need to cheat on what they consider an easy test.

"That's really messed up," driver Faith Gambina said. "They ask you what a stop sign is."
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drivercrimeBethpageNassau CountyNew York CityBrooklyn
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