Indictments Handed Down for Players Who Used Bitcoin in Fake ID Scheme

Four people who used Bitcoin to hide their illegal fake ID scheme have been indicted by the U.S. Justice Department’s Northern District of Ohio.

A U.S.-based crime ring in which fake IDs were allegedly bought and sold with bitcoins has resulted in several people being indicted.

We told you last month about law enforcement busting two people in Toledo, Ohio for their roles in the fake ID scheme. A federal grand jury has followed up by returning a four-count indictment charging these two, as well as two others.

The charges

Prosecutors charge:

“… the defendants created and transferred documents which appeared to drivers’ licenses and personal identification cards issued by the states of Ohio, Michigan and Utah. This took place between June 2013 and February 2018, according to the indictment.”

Specifically, the indictment accuses these people of:

  • Producing false identification documents
  • Transferring false identification documents
  • Possessing document-making implements and authentication

The alleged culprits

When we reported on this ring, we noted that Mark Alex Simon and Sarah M. Alberts were thought to be the masterminds behind the scheme. The pair, along with Benjamin Stalets and Aaron Kuns, were all indicted.

When they were arrested, police seized $4.7 million in Bitcoin. Apparently, the pair was using the crypto, along with gold and silver, to pay “employees” as well as accept as payment from those buying the IDs.

Here’s an excerpt from the indictment:

The defendants created and transferred documents which appeared to drivers’ licenses and personal identification cards issued by the states of Ohio, Michigan and Utah. This took place between June 2013 and February 2018, according to the indictment.

If convicted, prosecutors want them to forfeit more than 500 bitcoins with a now estimated value of $5.1 million.  Also being sought is about $8,600 and about $265,000 in cash, gold, and silver coins and bars.

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