Ricardo Rosario, 32, and Abraham Corcino, 33, both of Jersey City, and Alexis Scott Carthens, 37, of Newark, are charged by complaint with conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with authentication features. All three men are expected to make their initial court appearances later today before U.S. Magistrate Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.
According to the complaint:
From October 2012 through August 2014, Rosario, Corcino and Carthens allegedly sold fake driver’s licenses over the Internet. The three men ran a website that was available at “fakeidstore.co” and “fakedlstore.com.” A number of the fake driver’s licenses allegedly sold by the defendants were used 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 then used to steal cash from victims’ accounts.
The website sold fake driver’s licenses for the states of New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin, 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 cards. The website allowed its users to pay by bitcoin, a cryptographic-based digital currency, or MoneyPak, a type of prepaid payment card that could be purchased at retail stores. The “FAQ” section of the website indicated that orders would be received one to two days after payment was received and described the website’s policy with respect to returns: “No Refunds. No snitching.”
Rosario allegedly created and ran the Website. Corcino and Carthens allegedly assisted Rosario by creating and mailing the fake driver’s licenses. Corcino also maintained an Instagram website, which was used to promote the website.2
Rosario and his conspirators sold 1,514 fake driver’s licenses for $232,660 between or Dec. 30, 2013, and June 23, 2014.
The count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with authentication features carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a fine of twice the gross gain or loss derived from the offense.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark; and inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew S. Pak of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section and Barbara Ward of the office’s Asset Forfeiture and money laundering unit.