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Seattle driving school caught selling passing driving test grades

The Emerald City Driving School is no longer in operation after the operator was investigated for selling passing grades on driving tests.

SEATTLE — A Seattle driving school shut down after the operator was investigated for fraudulently passing students on driving tests for money.

Department of Licensing (DOL) operators began investigating the operator of Emerald City Driving School in May after receiving a report the operator was exchanging passing driving test grades for money.

"They did witness groups of individuals arriving and leaving without having taken a driver's license skills test," said DOL Communications Manager Christine Anthony.

Anthony said the DOL was in the process of terminating Wong's driver testing contract and suspending his driver training school license but Wong went ahead and shut his business down.

"He admitted to our investigators that he'd been involved in doing fraudulent testing over the past several years," Anthony said.

In the state of Washington, people under 18 who want a driver's license must take driver training classes before passing a knowledge and driving skills test. 

Those over 18 can take classes if they want to, but only need to pass the tests in order to get a license to drive.

People can take these tests at a DOL location or at privately operated driving schools, such as Emerald City Driving School.

The business is now closed with no more signage at the front. The school's Yelp page shows positive reviews.

A call to the business's main line was not returned by Thursday evening.

The DOL's investigation is ongoing and staff continue to comb through records. Wong has been selling passing grades for driver's licenses for possibly two to three years, according to Anthony. 

It is unclear how much Wong was charging for the passing grades.