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Livery Cab Driver Accused Of Helping Applicants Cheat On Learner's Permit Exams

CARLE PLACE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Nassau County cops say a professional cabbie was cheating on a written learner's permit test -- charging new drivers to take the short quiz for them.

Darnisha Carter has been studying to earn a learner's permit for the privilege of becoming a licensed driver. She's been reviewing online material, and taking practice exams on the rules of the road.

"You have to learn the signs, alcohol, a lot of things I didn't know was on the test," she told CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff.

Carter was shocked to hear that others were taking a shortcut, illegally paying someone else to take the written exam.

Nassau police arrested 64-year-old Mario Gedeon of Brooklyn, after suspicious workers spotted him repeatedly over the last year inside the Bethpage DMV office. They put the brakes on his scam when he allegedly switched answer sheets with other test takers.

"I don't see how they're going to help someone drive, that's cheating, that's dangerous," one driver said.

In court prosecutors detailed an extensive criminal record of the livery cab driver. Sources said he charged $150 per exam, and didn't even pass the test.

AAA Northeast isn't laughing -- sharing the road with drivers who can't pass the basic written test is downright dangerous.

"The idea that some people are having someone else do it for them means that they are gong out and becoming a danger to everyone else on the road. It's a particularly reprehensible thing," Robert Sinclair, AAA, said.

The DMV does proctor its test rooms and does ID people who come in to sit for an exam.

It's not clear how Gideon allegedly navigated all of that. In pleading not guilty he told the judge it was a misunderstanding. He faces felony charges.

Police are still looking for the people who allegedly paid Gedeon to take the test.

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