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Document and Benefit Fraud
02/16/2012

Document trafficker convicted of manufacturing, selling and transferring fraudulent identification documents

BALTIMORE – A Maryland resident was convicted Wednesday on charges of manufacturing, selling and transferring fraudulent identification documents, including permanent resident cards and Social Security cards following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.

Victor Lopez Escamilla aka "Mango Chupado," and "Ventura," 39, a Mexican national, was convicted on Feb. 15 by a federal jury. Escamilla faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for the transfer of false identification documents, a maximum of 10 years in prison for fraud and misuse of immigration documents and a maximum of five years in prison for Social Security fraud at his March 21 sentencing before U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr.

According to court documents and testimony at Escamilla's three-day trial, from July 2009 through the spring or summer of 2010, Escamilla was selling fraudulent documents made by a group in the 200 block of South Broadway in Baltimore. Witnesses testified that Escamilla solicited individuals in the Baltimore area to purchase fake identification documents and Escamilla was observed and photographed receiving and distributing fake identification documents. The evidence reflected that in the spring or summer of 2010, Escamilla began manufacturing documents himself in a "document mill" in his bedroom. The evidence showed that Escamilla received photographs and personal information from the individuals ordering the documents, which he then used to manufacture the fraudulent documents. Evidence showed that Escamilla generally charged between $100 and $150 for a permanent resident and Social Security card, and at least $100 for a fraudulent Maryland driver's license.

A search of Escamilla's residence in Brooklyn, Md., on May 26, 2011, recovered counterfeit documents, used ribbons showing documents that had been created, and equipment and supplies used to make counterfeit documents. More than 100 exhibits were presented at trial, including a Cheetos can with a fake bottom that contained numerous fraudulent identification documents, which was recovered from Escamilla's bedroom.

The investigation was conducted by HSI Baltimore with the assistance of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General; the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service, Washington Field Office; the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, Investigation and Security Services Division; and the Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County Police Departments.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamera L. Fine.