A Jersey City man admitted his role in a crew that sold fake driver’s licenses online at $150 a pop -- some of which were later used to commit financial crimes -- while promoting their illegal operation on Instagram.
Abraham Corcino, 34, conspired with two other men --
Ricardo Rosario, 33, of Jersey City, and Alexis Scott Carthens, 38, of Newark -- to sell the bogus licenses through “fakeidstore.co” and “fakedlstore.com” from October 2012 through August 2014.
A number of the licenses were used in “cash out” schemes -- stolen credit card information, usually obtained through hacking or ATM skimming operations, was encoded on counterfeit cards used to swipe cash from victims’ accounts, authorities said.
Rosario created and ran the website, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Corcino and Carthens "assisted Rosario by creating and mailing the fake driver’s licenses purchased through the website," Fishman said. "Corcino also maintained an Instagram account to promote the website."
The website sold fake New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin driver’s licenses -- boasting “scannable barcodes” and “real” holographic overlays, the U.S. Attorney said.
Although each license sold for $150, the site offered bulk pricing for orders of 10 or more, he said.
The website allowed its users to pay by bitcoin, a cryptographic-based digital currency, or prepaid MoneyPak cards.
The “FAQ” section of the website indicated that orders would be received approximately one to two days after payment was received.
“No Refunds. No snitching,” it added.
Carthens pleaded guilty to his role in April. Charges against Rosario are still pending
Fishman credited special agents of the FBI and inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for the investigation.
Handling the case for the government are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew S. Pak of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the Economic Crimes Unit and Barbara Ward, acting chief of Fishman's Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit in Newark.