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Charges against 22 people were unsealed and federal agents made 17 arrests in New Jersey and five other states in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain driver’s licenses for illegal aliens and other ineligible people. The defendants also include a contract employee of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) who is charged with stealing and providing forms used to aid in the scheme.

The operation "provided a suite of unlawful services to individuals illegally residing in the United States, including fraudulently obtaining driver’s licenses, and investor and student visas," U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.

Federal court appearances were scheduled for those arrested.

They include alleged brokers nationwide who recruited and served customers looking for a valid driver’s license to legitimize their illegal presence in the United States.

By allegedly shepherding illegal aliens through the application process and providing them with counterfeit documentation, the defendants enabled their customers to gain access to all the credibility that a driver’s license affords.

According to the Special Agent in Charge the defendants were able to utilize sophisticated computer software to create false identity documents and subsequently move to receive legitimate driver’s licenses.

In doing so, they were able to circumvent established safeguards and proper vetting put into place post-9/11. The exploitation of this vulnerability is significant because identity-type frauds are a gateway crime.

"Individuals with falsely obtained identities are more likely to commit financial frauds, walk away from legal obligations, and are more difficult for law enforcement to identify and investigate."

According to the Complaints:
Young-Kyu Park, formerly a resident of Fort Lee, N.J., and currently a resident of Los Angeles, was the leader of a criminal enterprise (“the Park Criminal Enterprise”) operating in Palisades Park and Fort Lee, N.J., as well as in other states.

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 through obtaining the licenses. In return, customers each paid the Park Criminal Enterprise a fee of approximately $3,000 to $4,500 for the unlawful services.

In particular, Young-Kyu Park fraudulently obtained, completed and sold genuine I-797 forms for customers to use to get licenses. An I-797 form is used by the federal government – including USCIS, a division of the Department of Homeland Security – 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 – such as fictitious utility bills and bank statements used to establish residency requirements. In furtherance of the scheme, Young-Kyu Park and his co-conspirators fraudulently extended expired Korean passports of individuals without legal status in the United States so they could obtain driver’s licenses. These illegal services were, at times, advertised in Korean newspapers and online with headings such as, “New Jersey Driver’s License.”

Park obtained blank I-797 forms from a USCIS contract employee working at the USCIS’ Western Forms Center in Montclair, Calif. – the United States’ largest warehouse storage facility for these forms. At various times, Park ordered the forms from two other individuals.

The Park Criminal Enterprise maintained a network of co-conspirators in New Jersey, Nevada, Georgia, and Virginia that met with customers. Park often communicated with his co-conspirators in various states through email.

Members of the Park Criminal Enterprise, including his wife, and his daughter, laundered the proceeds of the illegal operation to distribute the proceeds and conceal the scheme.
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