Press Release - 12-23-2022

DMV news

Friday, December 23, 2022


New Yorkers Encouraged to Verify Company and Driver Information and Follow Safety Tips Before Chartering Altered Vehicles

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles today announced that Jean Sadrack Cetoute, 60, of West Hempstead, NY was charged with two Class E Felony counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. The charges were filed in connection with two stretched limousines belonging to Mr. Cetoute that were registered illegally as passenger vehicles and believed to be operating for hire throughout the state.

2008 Cadillac Escalade

This week, the DMV in cooperation with the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) and New York State Police initiated an investigation into Mr. Cetoute’s stretched 2008 Cadillac Escalade. During the investigation, the DMV learned the vehicle was falsely registered as a passenger vehicle for personal use only with a seating capacity of five. DMV also learned the vehicle had no valid safety or emissions inspections.

The investigation further uncovered a second improperly registered limousine—a 2006 stretched Lincoln. Both vehicles and several others found at that location were immobilized by the DOT, labeled with ‘Out of Service’ decals and are part of the ongoing investigation.

The DMV immediately revoked the vehicle registrations of the stretched Cadillac and Lincoln and contacted New York State Police who seized the plates of both vehicles. The DMV also issued an immediate suspension of all additional vehicles owned or operated by Mr. Cetoute for violations of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Article 19-A. In addition, his driver license was immediately suspended pending a safety hearing.  

Swift action and cooperation among the DMV, DOT and New York State Police allowed this clandestine operator to be removed from New York’s roadways, making them safer for all.

Mr. Cetoute was processed by the New York State Police on charges brought by DMV’s Division of Field Investigation and issued an appearance ticket returnable to Albany County.

Anyone renting a limousine is encouraged to visit the Safe Limo New York website for tips to follow before you charter an altered limousine.  The website also includes operating safety inspection performance data of carriers operating under NYS DOT operating authority.

To file a limousine safety related complaint, fill out the complaint form or call the toll-free hotline at 833-727-0901.