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Document and Benefit Fraud
02/10/2011

6 charged in Wisconsin with producing false identity documents

Former state employee charged with accepting bribes to illegally produce driver's licenses

MADISON, Wis. - Six individuals, including a former state employee, have been charged with conspiring to illegally produce and transfer identification documents, announced John W. Vaudreuil, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin. The charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation, with the assistance of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

The indictment, which was unsealed Feb. 10, alleges that the conspiracy operated from December 2009 to July 2010. The following Wisconsin residents are charged in the indictment:

  • Khue Xiong, 36, of Stevens Point, is a former employee of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation who worked at a Stevens Point office of the Division of Motor Vehicles. In addition to the conspiracy charge, Xiong is charged with nine counts of unlawfully producing Wisconsin driver's licenses. Xiong is also charged with accepting cash payments in exchange for providing Wisconsin driver's licenses to about 70 individuals who were not eligible to obtain them by lawful means because they were in the United States illegally. Xiong is in custody in Minnesota on unrelated state charges; no date has been set for his initial appearance in federal court in Madison.
  • Eric Silva, 38, of Stevens Point, is charged with conspiracy, nine counts of unlawfully producing identification documents, and bribing Xiong. Silva will make an initial appearance in federal court in Madison on Feb. 11.
  • Rolando Lima, 36, of Appleton, is charged with conspiracy and two counts of unlawfully producing an identification document. He is a fugitive.
  • Ricardo Gonzales de Arcos, 26, of Marshfield, is charged with conspiracy and two counts of unlawfully producing an identification document. He will make an initial appearance in federal court in Madison on Feb.11.
  • Sebastian Cortes Vieyra, 29, of Appleton, is charged with conspiracy and five counts of unlawfully producing an identification document. He made an initial appearance in federal court in Madison Feb. 10, and was ordered detained pending further proceedings.
  • Benito A. Alvarez Saldana, 28, of Jefferson, is charged with conspiracy and two counts of unlawfully producing an identification document. He was given a summons to appear in federal court in Madison. The date for that appearance has not been set.

The indictment alleges that Silva served as a middleman between Xiong and the buyers. Silva is alleged to have found buyers for the licenses and acted as a point of contact for the buyers during the transactions. The indictment alleges that Lima, Gonzales de Arcos, Cortes Vieyra and Alvarez Saldana also found buyers for the licenses and collected cash payments from buyers throughout Wisconsin.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison on each production count and the conspiracy count. Xiong and Silva also face a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison on the bribery count.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith P. Duchemin, Western District of Wisconsin, is prosecuting the case.