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Document and Benefit Fraud
09/21/2009

Defendants sentenced in driver's license scheme

MIAMI - Wesley Philamar, 36, of Miami, was sentenced Sept. 18, 2009, on charges of conspiracy to produce identification documents without lawful authority, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1028(a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(ii), (c)(3)(A), and (f). Philamar pled guilty to this charge on March 13, 2009.

The announcement was made by Jeffrey H. Sloman, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Rick Walker, special agent in charge, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, and Anthony V. Mangione, special agent in charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Investigations in Miami, which investigated the case.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra sentenced Philamar to 20 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release. Co-defendant Yvan Bonhomme, 54, of Miramar, pled guilty to the same charge on April 1, 2009 and was sentenced by Judge Marra on July 31, 2009 to 36 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. A third defendant, Carmino Rossini Santos, Jr., 40, of Pompano Beach, also pled guilty to the same charge on March 13, 2009, and was sentenced by Judge Marra on May 26, 2009 to three months in prison, three months home detention with electronic monitoring, to be followed by two years of supervised release, and a $1,000 fine.

These convictions were the result of "Operation Turn Signal," a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, ICE's Office of Investigations, and the U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate and prosecute fraud related to the issuance of immigration documents and Florida driver's licenses.

According to a factual proffer filed during the pleas, the defendants used five fictitious companies purportedly operating in South Florida to create paperwork falsely representing that their clients were employees of these companies and had applied for visas. In fact, the clients were illegal aliens. Thereafter, the aliens presented the false employment documentation received from these companies, along with false U.S. Department of Labor certifications and U.S. work visa application receipts, to the Florida Division of Driver's Licenses (DDL) to receive valid driver's licenses. The defendants also provided illegal aliens with false U.S. immigration forms for submission with their passports to the DDL. In total, the defendants caused the issuance of at least 500 fraudulent driver's licenses in both Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz.