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Document and Benefit Fraud
10/16/2009

Central California couple charged with running counterfeit document mill

FRESNO, Calif. - A central California couple have been indicted for producing and selling counterfeit immigration and identity documents in Fresno and Tulare counties following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Salomon Rodriguez, 48, and Veronica Capitaine-Rosales, 42, were indicted by a federal grand jury Oct. 15. According to the indictment, the couple operated a business selling phony Social Security cards and alien registration cards, often called "green cards." In early October, ICE agents executed a federal search warrant at the couple's Selma, Calif., residence where investigators recovered alleged document-making equipment and supplies.

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

According to documents filed in court, Rodriguez and Capitaine-Rosales met prospective purchasers in public locations where they took their pictures and obtained biographical details. The defendants then returned to their residence to produce the documents which were subsequently provided to the buyers. The indictment alleges the criminal activity occurred from late January 2009 until early October.

Rodriguez and Capitaine-Rosales made their initial appearance in federal court Oct. 16 and pleaded not guilty to the charges. If convicted, Rodriguez and Capitaine Rosales face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.