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Operation Easy Rider:
FBI puts stop to driver's license fraud

07/07/03

Over July 1and 2, the FBI arrested six individuals on federal charges of identification fraud and social security fraud. Two of the subjects worked for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and allegedly produced and sold authentic Virginia driver's licenses, with the help of co-conspirators, to nonresidents and other unqualified persons.

Mike Rolince, FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office, said about the investigation: "Remember that the 9/11 terrorists used fake driver's licenses to hide in plain sight and ultimately to turn American services against the American people. Since that time, we've been especially focused on the integrity of driver's licenses and other forms of identification. Our preliminary investigation in today's case suggests that this scam began in 1998 and has produced some 1000 fraudulent licenses. We are glad to think we have put these people out of business."

Consuelo Onate-Banzon and Rony Razon allegedly issued genuine licenses and falsified DMV records to indicate their "clients" were Virginians who had recently moved to Virginia from another state, then collected a fee of $800 to $1600 for each of the "services." If convicted, the six subjects of the investigation face a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

The year-long investigation was spearheaded by agents of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the FBI and assisted by agents of the Social Security Administration.