Counterfeiters Busted Selling Fake IDs to Undocumented Immigrants in Brooklyn

Categories: Scams

Two Brooklyn men were indicted on forgery charges yesterday for creating counterfeit identification cards and distributing them out of a Sunset Park bakery.

Jose Mateo Castro, 56, and Leonel Escamiilo, 43, allegedly sold counterfeit Social Security Cards, Green Cards and driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants in the name of at least six different people, according to a release from the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office.

Investigators from the Brooklyn DA's Office and agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began investigating the scam in July 2011 after receiving a tip about Castro's dealings. Experts say the cards we so well made that they'd likely appear authentic to the untrained eye.

Authorities say Escamiilo manufactured the cards out of his Sunset Park apartment where police found blank cards, holograms, laminates, a paper-cutter, a computer and printer capable of producing double-sided identification cards, according to the release.

Customers would allegedly provide Castro with passport photos and documentation, which Escamiilo then used to whip up the counterfeit cards. Castro sold the cards out Las Conchitas for $130 apiece, according to the release. The owners of the Las Conchitas are not implicated in the case.

"Trafficking of forged Federal identification cards is not a victimless crime," said Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes. "They are used for many illicit purposes, including identity theft, obtaining access to workplaces and other private areas. Because of the potentially grave dangers they pose, my office is committed to working with local and federal authorities, such as the Department of Homeland Security, to vigorously investigate, and prosecute those manufacturing and trafficking counterfeit documentation."

Castro and Escamiilo each face up to seven years in prison and possible deportation to Mexico.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Want to stop them from getting fake ID's? Allow a path to legal residency.

Question for all the anti-immigrant folks: would 1 billion Americans be weaker than 300 million? What built this country? Is it not human beings working? When people come into this country and work they contribute to the development of all. This country was built by immigrants. Did those previous immigrants do more harm than good? Why is it assumed that these new immigrants will? Yes, most are not high skilled. But research shows that they do work hard and contribute far more than they take, despite the many claims otherwise. And their children certainly do become completely assimilated Americans. And what's the difference whether they came legally or illegally? They are creating businesses. And those that don't create businesses work at businesses. So they are helping an American company, paying rent to an American, buying food from Americans and paying taxes.

Asia is rising because they are allowing more free enterprise. As they do, and their citizens become productive, they will surpass the US economically. Simply because of their greater numbers. Socialism is what has been holding them back. As they become more capitalist, their citizens will become more productive and prosperous, approaching the productivity and prosperity of Americans. But there will be 1 billion of them in both India and China. One billion productive people there will be stronger than 300 million productive people here.

Think of it another way. what is it that makes a nation prosper and develop? It’s people working and doing business with one another, right? People do business and make money and pay for products and services that create or sustain jobs. They also pay taxes, which allows government to build infrastructure. There are billions of people in the world. Some of them want to come here and do that work. If they were here they would work for an American business, which is good for America. They would pay rent or buy a house from Americans. They would buy food from Americans. Their children would grow up with a loyalty to America. Are we better off if they stay home and do all of these things there?

Because that’s all that our immigration system has done over the past few decades. It has told millions of people to stay home and contribute to other nations.

So once again, is 1 billion Americans weaker than 300 million Americans? I’m not suggesting we let 700 million people in. I’m only showing that we are stronger by greater numbers.

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault