Tarzana Man Pleads Guilty To Selling $1.9 Million Dollars Worth Of False Identification Documents Over Internet
SAN FRANCISCO - Ramin Bibian pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to transferring false identification documents, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
In pleading guilty, Bibian admitted that, from approximately November 2005 to approximately August 2012, he operated two websites that sold false identification documents, specifically state driver’s licenses, identification cards and international driver’s licenses.
Through www.newidcards.com, Bibian offered state driver’s licenses and identification cards for prices ranging from $135 to more than $250. Bibian advertised that, for an additional fee, a customer could add special features to his or her identification card, such as holograms, magnetic encoded strips and high definition printing similar to ones issued by state agencies. Although he advertised his products as novelty items, Bibian admitted that he was well aware that the identification cards he produced were similar to legitimately-issued state identification and that his customers intended to use them as substitutes for government-issued identification.
In addition, Bibian sold invalid international driver’s licenses on another website that he operated called Global International Driver’s License, which was located at www.idriverlicense.com. An international driver’s permit provides an official translated copy of an individual’s home country driver’s license for use abroad. The United States Government has authorized only two entities, the American Automobile Association and the National Automobile Club, to issue such permits.
Bibian admitted to using false names, including Ray Fray, Arya Jahan and Tova Godsi, in connection with the offense. He also agreed to a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $1.9 million, which represented his proceeds from the sale of false identification documents.
Bibian, 47, of Tarzana, Calif., was indicted by a federal Grand Jury on Aug. 16, 2012. He was charged with three counts of transferring false identification documents in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(2). Under the plea agreement, Bibian pled guilty to one of those counts.
Bibian has been in custody since his arrest on Aug. 28, 2012. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 19, 2013, before District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco. The maximum statutory penalty for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(2) is 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
This case was prosecuted by the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section, with the assistance of Elise Etter and Janice Pagsanjan. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).