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Document and Benefit Fraud
05/21/2009

Bakersfield man charged with producing phony identity documents

FRESNO, Calif. - A Bakersfield, Calif., man will be arraigned in federal court tomorrow following his indictment by a federal grand jury on charges stemming from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into allegations he produced and sold counterfeit identity documents.

Ramiro Briseno-Lopez, aka Johnny, 38, is accused in a multi-count indictment of possessing, transferring, producing and selling fraudulent immigration and identification documents, including Social Security cards and alien registration receipt cards, commonly known as "green cards."

According to court documents filed in the case, Briseno-Lopez met prospective buyers in public locations, took their pictures and biographical information and then returned to his residence to produce the documents. ICE agents executed a federal search warrant at the defendant's home earlier this month where they recovered a variety of document counterfeiting supplies and equipment, including a computer and laminating machine.

"Anyone who knowingly and indiscriminately sells phony identity cards is putting the security of our communities and even our country at risk," said Michael Toms, resident agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Bakersfield. "Counterfeit documents can potentially be used by dangerous criminals and others who are attempting to obscure their identities and cover their tracks."

If convicted, Breseno-Lopez faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.