“Twenty-Two Charged for Multi-state Scheme To Obtain Real Driver’s Licenses With Fraudulent Documents;” CSDL President Comments
WASHINGTON, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward announced charges against 22 individuals and arrests in six states in a massive scheme to fraudulently obtain driver’s licenses for illegal aliens and others unable to lawfully obtain driver’s licenses.
“The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, ICE, FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office should be congratulated for their work. This case is significant because it illustrates the importance of the REAL ID Act, and what lengths criminal enterprises have to go through to evade detection even when a state was only partially compliant with the REAL ID final regulation. New Jersey is right to move forward with TRU-ID, the program that brings the state into compliance with REAL ID. It will provide a significant layer of protection for New Jersey residents against identity theft and fraud,” said Brian Zimmer, President of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License.
The criminal complaint states that the “Park Criminal Enterprise” advertised both online and through newspapers that it could facilitate obtaining valid driver’s licenses for its customers who were unable to obtain them lawfully. The Park Criminal Enterprise was paid a fee of approximately $3,000 to $4,500 to acquire, create, and counterfeit a variety of documents for the express purpose of fraudulently obtaining those valid driver’s licenses. Mr. Zimmer stated,
“Criminals such as those involved in the Park Criminal Enterprise systematically target states with permissive driver’s license practices. Just last week, federal authorities unsealed an indictment alleging a multistate scam aimed at fraudulently obtaining valid New Mexico driver’s licenses. Driver’s license security is of paramount importance and compliance with the REAL ID Act, as the former 9/11 Commissioners have said, should be accelerated.”
New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission has plans to institute the TRU-ID process to further improve its issuance of driver’s licenses and ID cards. The planned upgrades and information technology safeguards are designed to better protect the identities of New Jersey residents. Under TRU-ID, customers will follow three steps to demonstrate proof of legal presence, legal identity, social security number and principal address. Mr. Zimmer noted that the New Jersey MVC staff was an important law enforcement component in this case.
“Frontline NJ MVC employees deserve special credit. In several instances, they put their fraud training to good use. The criminal complaint notes that upon inspection, NJ MVC staff recognized that the documents in front of them were fraudulent and took appropriate action leading to the unraveling of the criminal enterprise.”
About the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License:
The Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License is a 501 (c) (3) non-partisan, not for profit, crime prevention education public charity, supported by donor contributions from across the United States.
The CSDL slogan, “Working to protect the identity of every American”, embodies our commitment to higher standards for both government and private entities that issue identity credentials, especially state agencies that issue driver’s licenses and ID cards. CSDL undertakes research projects addressing best practices for DMVs, compliance with federal laws and regulations, identity fraud prevention and related identity management topics. CSDL provides research results and educational programs to the public and to state and federal officials and is a member of the Document Security Alliance and the American National Standards Institute.
Details are available on CSDL’s website at www.secure-license.org.
SOURCE Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License