A Jersey City, New Jersey, man has admitted using social media to promote a website that sold fake driver’s licenses, some of which were later used to commit financial crimes, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
Fishman’s office said Abraham Corcino, 34, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with authentication features.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, from October 2012 through August 2014, Ricardo Rosario, 33, of Jersey City, with the assistance of Corcino and Alexis Scott Carthens, 38, of Newark, New Jersey, sold fake driver’s licenses over a website that was available at “fakeidstore.co” and “fakedlstore.com.”
The website sold fake New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin driver’s licenses, and boasted that the licenses had “scannable barcodes” and “real” holographic overlays. The price for each fake driver’s license was approximately $150, but the website offered bulk pricing for orders of 10 or more.
Officials said that a number of the fake driver’s licenses sold by Corcino and other conspirators were used by criminal actors in connection with “cash out” schemes where stolen credit card information, usually obtained through hacking or ATM skimming operations, was encoded on to counterfeit credit cards and used to steal cash from victims’ accounts.
The “FAQ” section of the website indicated that orders would be received approximately one to two days after payment was received and described the website’s policy with respect to returns: “No Refunds. No snitching.”
At the plea hearing, Corcino admitted promoting the website on social media and mailing the fake driver’s licenses to the website’s customers, according to officials.
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 19, 2016.
Carthens pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme on April 25, 2016 and awaits sentencing. The charges against Rosario are pending. The charges and allegations against him are merely accusations, and he is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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