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Feds charge 7 in fake ID scheme Elyria cops helped break up in 2019

Sep 11th 2020, 3:45 pm
Posted by marcelahol
CLEVELAND — A joint investigation into a multi-state identity theft ring by local, state and federal officials has led to federal charges against seven people who allegedly purchased cars and watercraft with false and stolen documents.

Order Your Fake Id Online TodayIncluded in those charges is a man originally arrested by Elyria police after reportedly trying to use fake and stolen documents.

U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman announced Thursday that five people currently in custody face 40 criminal charges including conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, misuse of a social security number and interstate transportation of stolen vehicles.

They are:

Guillermo Alexander Cruz-Guerrero, 38, of the Dominican Republic, who is in federal custody in Ohio;
Carmen Teresa Cabrera, 29, of Haskel, New Jersey, who was arrested there;
Reyfy Gonzalez, 31, of Cliffside Park, New Jersey, also under arrest in New Jersey;
Andy Arleny Mazara-Garcia, 29, currently in state custody in Massachusetts; and
Willie Antonio Samuel-Baldayaquz, 38, currently in custody in Connecticut.

Still at large are Rene Guzman-Aquino, 36, of Puerto Rico, and Julio Valdez-Pimentel, 27, of Pennsylvania, the federal prosecutor said.

The seven used identities stolen from Puerto Rico residents and falsified ID to fraudulently purchase and finance vehicles and watercraft from dealerships in Northern Ohio. The charges were made public in a 40-count indictment unsealed today in a federal court in the Northern District of Ohio.

Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts and New Jersey and state authorities in New Jersey also charged defendants in the scheme, Herdman said.

"These defendants allegedly attempted to profit off of the stolen identities of U.S. citizens by purchasing various motor vehicles and watercraft at Ohio dealerships and then, in some cases, proceeded to ship the vehicles out of the state and country," Herdman said. "Thanks to tireless work of law enforcement across the country, this identify theft ring has been disrupted, and these defendants can no longer use the funds of hard-working citizens to enrich themselves."

Elyria and Akron police, Border Patrol agents in Sandusky, the FBI, Homeland Security agents and the New Jersey Attorney General's Office all were involved in the investigation that began three years ago, Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison of the U.S. Border Patrol's Detroit sector said.

Between January 2017 and July 2019, the defendants obtained genuine Ohio driver's licenses using stolen ID and phony documents and licenses from Puerto Rico. They then got fake credit cards and bank accounts with that ID, visited northern Ohio car dealerships to buy cars and motorsports businesses including Johnny K's Motorsports at the Midway Mall in Elyria and were given 100 percent financed loans.

Authorities identified more than 70 vehicles and watercraft in all states from all defendants with an estimated total value of more than $3.7 million. Some of the items they purchased were transported out of the United States, authorities said.

Cruz-Guerrero's accomplices in the crimes at Johnny K's, 46-year-old Ricardo Labrador-Ortiz and Renzo Pimentel-Arias, 49, were sentenced to 31 months and 54 months in federal prison, respectively, federal prosecutors announced in June.

Cruz-Guerrero and the accomplices were identified in July 2019 when he walked into Johnny K's at 3000 Midway Mall and used a fake ID and false employment information to request a $40,000 loan to buy jetskis without a down payment, Herdman said in June.

A credit check was positive for fraud, and store employees cleverly asked Cruz-Guerrero to come back the following day so they could complete the loan process when the bank was open, then called police after he left.

Cruz-Guerrero was arrested the following day when he returned to the store to complete the loan paperwork. Elyria police also stopped a car outside and arrested Labrador-Ortiz, seizing fake id website driver's licenses and numerous sets of keys to storage containers and facilities rented in Pimentel-Arias' name.

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