BOSTON — Four Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles clerks are accused of producing fake IDs to undocumented immigrants and previously deported people in exchange for cash.
In October 2015, state police said they received an anonymous letter that said a corrupt RMV employee was giving stolen IDs and drivers' licenses to people.
Through an investigation, police said they found several Haymarket RMV employees working with a man who acted as a document vendor and another who acted as a document dealer.
RMV clerks Evelyn Medina, 56, of Boston; Annette Gracia, 37, of Boston; Kimberly Jordan, 33, of Randolph; David Brimage, 46, of Boston have been arrested. In addition, so has alleged document vendor Bivian Yohanny Brea, 41, of Boston and dealer Rafael R. Bonano, 32, who also goes by Flako.
The Department of Justice alleges that the scheme took several steps, with Flako first selling a Puerto Rican birth certificate and U.S. Social Security card to Brea for about $900. Brea allegedly then sold the stolen identity for more than $2,000 to a client in Massachusetts.
Then the RMV came into play. Brea would use the counterfeit documents and fake identities to register the clients to vote in the City of Boston, said officials. Brea and the client then took the stolen information to the Haymarket RMV, where either Medina, Gracia, Jordan or Brimage would allegedly accept cash to illegally issue authentic RMV documents, including Massachusetts licenses and ID cards.
In addition, the Justice Department said the RMV employees would use the RMV system to run searches to confirm the stolen identities belonged to real people, in exchange for cash.
Brea's clients included undocumented people, people who were previously deported and an individual who had one point been facing drug charges, said the Department of Justice.
All of those arrested have been charged with aggravated identity theft and are expected to appear in federal court Wednesday afternoon.
The creation of fake IDs has been a problem in the past for the Massachusetts RMV; in 2013, one employee was charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. in connection with producing false identification document Puerto Rican born people. Alexander Brewer allegedly made at least 200 fake IDs to people who produced Puerto Rican identification, in exchange for cash.
In 2012, an RMV clerk was accused of taking money from illegal immigrants, promising to get them drivers' licenses and fix immigration problems.
MassDOT said that Medina, Gracia, Jordan and Brimage "have been placed on administrative leave without pay pending further administrative review and action, subject to their collective bargaining agreement."T
"The RMV finds the alleged criminal and fraudulent actions of these individuals to be troubling and intolerable and has also taken immediate steps to suspend the credentials allegedly fraudulently obtained as part of this enterprise," said Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Registrar Erin Deveney.
The RMV said it has taken steps to suspend the fraudulent licenses that were part of this scheme.
The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory minimum of two years in prison. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The investigation into the corruption and identity theft scheme is ongoing.
Cox Media Group