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DOJ: Counterfeit Document Ring Frequented Georgia Laundromat

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Photo: ©iStockphoto/DNY59

Staff Writer |

ATLANTA — Four members of a Cobb County document fraud ring that made counterfeit Social Security cards, permanent resident cards, and other fake identification documents and then sold them from a Smyrna Laundromat have been sentenced to federal prison on a charge of conspiring to produce fraudulent identification documents, United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates reports.

The defendants, all from Mexico, received sentences ranging from nine to 28 months, plus two years supervised probation. Four additional co-defendants in the scheme have also pleaded guilty and await sentencing on various dates over the next three months.

The organization used a coin laundry located in Smyrna to facilitate the sale of the counterfeit documents and offered their services to illegal aliens who frequented the Laundromat.

Between March 2010 and August 2011, Homeland Security Investigations agents, U.S. Secret Service agents and investigators with the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection purchased counterfeit identification documents at various locations in Cobb County, Ga., as part of an undercover operation.

The documents included Social Security cards, permanent resident cards and State of Georgia driver’s licenses. Using physical and video surveillance, agents determined the location of the organization’s counterfeit document production facility.

In September 2011, agents executed a search warrant at an apartment complex in Marietta, Ga. Agents recovered document-making equipment, including computers and printers, and recovered electronic files containing more than 2,000 images of fraudulent identification documentation, including Social Security cards, permanent resident cards, birth certificates, driver’s licenses from more than 20 states, and various other documents. Firearms were also recovered.

“Manufacturing counterfeit identification documents is a serious problem in our community,” Yates says. “These defendants ran an operation that enabled many illegal aliens to get their hands on identification that made it appear as if they were legally in the United States. This crime impacts our community in many ways, not the least of which is the negative impact on the credit history and financial well-being of people whose Social Security numbers were unlawfully used on the counterfeit documents.”

“This case demonstrates the wide-reaching effects of the manufacturing and selling of counterfeit identification documents and its impact on innocent victims and our communities,” says Reginald Moore, special agent in charge of the U.S. Secret Service Atlanta Field Office. “The importance of cooperation among our law enforcement partners remains paramount to our ability to catch those that are involved in these types of fraudulent activities.”

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