Three San Franciscans desperate for easy parking were arrested on suspicion of forging doctor's notes to score handicap placards so they could freely park around town.
Guobin Qin, 29, Qiaoyun Chen, 50, and Yessi Morales, 35, were hauled to jail last week after all three suspects allegedly filled out false paperwork with the DMV in attempt to steal parking places from disabled drivers, District Attorney George Gascón announced today.
"It's absurd that so many are willing to perjure themselves to steal parking spaces from the disabled," said Gascón. "Those fraudulently utilizing handicapped placards and parking spaces are on notice -- they can be held criminally liable."
Authorities got tips that the suspects forged doctor's signatures and diagnoses on their applications. Two of the suspects -- Qin and Chen (mother and son) -- went as far as to lead investigators to a doctor who they claim was treating both of them for lung disease. They were never issued their parking permits after that very doctor couldn't confirm either family member was a patient.
In a separate investigation, the third suspect, Morales, allegedly submitted seven fraudulent applications to the DMV over the course of four years. Those applications included names of two doctors, both of whom denied ever treating the suspect.
For those of you who don't know, disabled persons placards are reserved for those with physical disabilities who need assistance getting around and accessing places in San Francisco. In addition to designated parking spots (blue zone parking), disabled placards also allow holders to park at meters for free for as long as they need to.
None of the suspects were entitled to these benefits, prosecutors said. They've been charged with filing false documents, perjury, and commercial burglary. Qin and Chen are also charged with forgery.