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Financial Crimes
09/10/2010

PennDOT official charged with extortion and ID theft

ICE Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force catch 3 more in Operation Blind Spot

PHILADEPLHIA - An indictment was unsealed in federal court on September 9 charging three more defendants caught in an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Roy Davila, 49, was charged with manufacturing fraudulent identification documents, extortion, and aggravated identity theft. Felix Davila, 35 was charged with making false statements to federal agents. Both defendants are from Philadelphia.

Roy Davila is charged with using his position as an official with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation ("PennDOT") to obtain cash payments in exchange for the issuance of identification cards. Felix Davila is charged with lying about his role in his brother's (Roy Davila) criminal activity.

A separate indictment charges Rafael de la Rosa Duran, 40, of Philadelphia, with identity fraud, selling social security cards, and aggravated identity theft. Duran is charged with selling social security cards and birth certificates between April and July 2010.

If convicted of all charges, Felix Davila faces a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000; Roy Davila faces a maximum possible sentence of 37 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000; Duran faces a maximum possible sentence of 85 years in prison and a fine of up to $3 million.

The case is part of "Operation Blind Spot," an initiative run by ICE's Office of Homeland Security Investigations. The long-term investigation has focused on corruption at PennDOT and the use of fraudulent documents to obtain fraudulent driver's licenses and identification documents for illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and others.

The investigation has resulted in the arrest of more than 25 defendants, including four PennDOT officials, as well as driving school operators, interpreters, and document manufacturers and distributors. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard J. Zack.