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Document and Benefit Fraud
01/22/2009

4 illegal aliens indicted for fake document conspiracy

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Four illegal aliens from Mexico were indicted here Wednesday for their roles in a local fraudulent document ring as a result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A federal grand jury in the Western District of Kentucky returned an indictment against Yandel De La Cruz, aka Salvador Alvarado-Aguirre, aka Christian Fuentes-Alvarado, aka Chavi, 27; Gabriel Figueroa-Meza, aka Sergio Lopez-Perez, aka Antonio S. Martinez, aka Jose Moreno-Pina, aka Tio, 47; Arturo Gonzalez-Ramos, 25; and Juan Manuel Calderon-Santana, 34, on charges they conspired to possess document-making implements and false identification documents with the intent to transfer them unlawfully, including: Permanent Resident Alien Cards (green cards), Social Security cards, Mexican driver's licenses and Mexican birth certificates.

According to the indictment, the members of the conspiracy solicited customers going in and out of businesses in the Louisville area, including Mexican grocery stores and restaurants, by handing out business cards bearing a name and a telephone number. The business cards provided contact information for obtaining false identification documents. After being contacted by a customer, a member of the conspiracy produced the desired documents and delivered them to the customer.

"ICE places a high priority on investigating identity fraud and document fraud cases," said Jerry Phillips, resident agent-in-charge of the ICE office in Louisville. "Counterfeit documents create the illusion of legitimacy and allow dangerous criminals to hide in plain sight. ICE is committed to shutting down illegal enterprises that compromise the security of our nation."

If convicted, the maximum potential penalty includes a 70-year prison sentence, and a $1.2 million fine. As standard procedure, after their criminal justice process is completed - including serving any imposed prison sentence, if convicted - all four defendants will be transferred to ICE for deportation to Mexico.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mac Shannon, Western District of Kentucky, is prosecuting the case. The Louisville Metro Police Department assisted ICE with the investigation.