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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Brother and Sister Team Sentenced to 10 Months in Prison for Running a Fraudulent Document Ring

OAKLAND – Ana Mendoza-Roman and Ricardo Mendoza-Roman were sentenced today to 10 months in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiracy to produce and transfer false identification documents, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. Ana and Ricardo Mendoza-Roman are siblings who are citizens of Mexico and are unlawfully present in the United States.

In their guilty pleas, the defendants admitted to conspiring to produce and sell false alien registration cards which appeared to be issued by or under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security, and Social Security cards, which appeared to be issued by or under authority of the Social Security Administration.

On August 23, 2012, Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Task Force agents executed federal search warrants at the defendants’ residence and on two vehicles owned by the defendants. During the execution of these search warrants, agents uncovered a document mill which contained fraudulent document manufacturing equipment including a laminator, printer, computer, seals, card stock and thousands of business cards offering these illegal services. A 9mm Beretta handgun and multiple high-capacity magazines were also seized from the residence.

“These sentences should serve as a reminder about the consequences facing those involved in the counterfeit document trade,” said Clark Settles, Special Agent in Charge for HSI San Francisco. “Individuals who knowingly and indiscriminately sell phony identity documents are putting the security of our communities and even our country at risk, which is why these cases are a priority for Homeland Security Investigations.”

The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Sandra Brown Armstrong following defendants’ guilty pleas to violations of 18 U.S.C. § 371. The defendants have remained in federal custody since their arrest on August 23, 2012.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina McCall and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara Weber prosecuted the case with the assistance of Vanessa Vargas and Jeanne Carstensen. This prosecution was the result of an investigation by the HSI-led Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force and the Richmond Police Department into an organization that manufactured and sold counterfeit identity documents in Richmond, Pittsburg, Concord and San Rafael, California.