Virginia Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison in Multi-State Scheme to Obtain Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Aliens
NEWARK, NJ—An Alexandria, Virginia, man was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for his role in a multi-state scheme to unlawfully obtain driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Ho-Man Lee, 43, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III to Count One of a superseding indictment charging him with conspiring to unlawfully produce identification documents. U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Young-Kyu Park, 59, also known as “Oscar,” a former resident of Fort Lee, New Jersey, and later a resident of Los Angeles, was the leader of a criminal enterprise that operated in New Jersey, California, Nevada and Virginia (the “Park Criminal Enterprise”). The Park Criminal Enterprise provided a range of illicit services to individuals who were residing illegally in the United States, including obtaining driver’s licenses. In furtherance of the scheme, Park maintained a network of brokers in various states who helped illegal residents obtain driver’s licenses. Lee was Park’s Virginia broker.
The Park Criminal Enterprise illegally obtained driver’s licenses genuinely issued by New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Nevada, and elsewhere. To do so, it obtained, created and counterfeited a variety of documents and sold them to customers. Conspirators also escorted customers to various state motor vehicle agencies and coached them on obtaining licenses. Customers typically paid the Park Criminal Enterprise $3,000 to $4,500 for the unlawful services.
Park fraudulently obtained and sold genuine I-797 forms used by the federal government B including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“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 the forms to verify the authenticity of an applicant’s foreign passport and to verify the applicant’s lawful presence in the United States.
Park obtained blank I-797 forms from Martin Trejo, 48, of Rialto, California, a former USCIS employee who stole batches of the forms. After obtaining the stolen forms, Park and other conspirators used a computer to print a customer’s information on the form. 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.
Lee worked in northern New Jersey as Park’s Virginia broker. In exchange for cash, Lee met with customers, provided them with the fraudulent documents, including the fraudulent I-797 forms, and then escorted them to Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle offices to obtain licenses. Afterwards, Lee deposited the funds into bank accounts controlled by Park and kept a portion for his services.
In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty sentenced Lee to three years of supervised release.
Park was sentenced to 72 months in prison on Jan. 8, 2015. Trejo was sentenced to 26 months in prison on Sept. 17, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kelly; 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 and David M. Eskew of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Paul Brickfield Esq., River Edge, New Jersey, and Joseph Horn Esq., Ridgefield Park, New Jersey