January 8, 2015

Leader of Multi-State Scheme to Obtain Real Driver’s Licenses with Fraudulent Documents Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

NEWARK, NJ—The leader of a criminal organization who ran a multi-state scheme to fraudulently obtain driver’s licenses for illegal aliens and other ineligible individuals was sentenced today to 72 months in prison, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Young-Kyu Park, 58, formerly a resident of Fort Lee, New Jersey, and later a resident of Los Angeles, California, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Faith S. Hochberg to Counts One through Three of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to produce identification and false identification documents; conspiracy to steal government property and transport stolen property in interstate commerce, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Judge Hochberg imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Park was the leader of a criminal enterprise (the Park Criminal Enterprise) operating in Palisades Park, New Jersey, Fort Lee and in other states. He was one of 22 people charged in June 2012 with allegedly providing a suite of unlawful services to individuals illegally residing in the United States, including fraudulently obtaining driver’s licenses, and investor and student visas. Federal agents arrested defendants in New Jersey, New York, California, Nevada, Virginia, and Georgia B including a contract employee of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) charged with and later convicted of stealing and providing forms used to aid in the scheme.

The Park Criminal Enterprise illegally obtained driver’s licenses genuinely issued by New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Nevada, and elsewhere. To do so, it acquired, created, and counterfeited a variety of documents for sale to customers. Members of the Park Criminal Enterprise also escorted customers to various state motor vehicle agencies and coached them on obtaining the licenses. In return, customers each paid the Park Criminal Enterprise a fee of $3,000 to $4,500 for the unlawful services.

Park fraudulently obtained, completed and sold genuine I-797 forms for customers to get licenses. An I-797 form is used by the federal government B including USCIS, a division of the Department of Homeland Security B to communicate with others or convey an immigration benefit. State agencies that issue driver’s licenses rely on these forms to verify the authenticity of an applicant’s foreign passport and to verify the applicant’s lawful presence in the United States. One version of this form can be used to show eligibility for in-state college tuition. The Park Criminal Enterprise also altered and counterfeited other immigration documents, including passports, and created and provided fictitious documents to customers B such as fictitious utility bills and bank statements used to establish residency requirements.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Hochberg sentenced Park to two years of supervised release, fined him $10,000 and ordered forfeiture of $1.2 million.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge John P. Woods; the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge Gregory K. Null of the Philadelphia field office; and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, under the direction of New Jersey District Director John E. Thompson, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Fishman noted the work of the N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission, under the direction of Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez; the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor John L. Molinelli; and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Colonel Joseph R. Fuentes, for their assistance.

He also thanked the FBI field offices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Atlanta, and Richmond, Va., as well as U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of Nevada and the Central District of California for their support.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Moscato, Lisa M. Colone and David M. Eskew of the U.S. Attorney’s Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Mark Waecker, Los Angeles, Calif.