News and Press Releases

Six Indicted for Scheme to Obtain Government Identity Documents for Illegal Aliens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. – A federal grand jury in Richmond has indicted six individuals for conspiring to unlawfully purchase the identities of U.S. citizens and using that information to obtain identity cards, driver’s licenses, and U.S. passports for illegal aliens

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Richard D. Holcomb, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, announced the indictment.

            Cynthia Damariz Salamanca, 29, of Richmond, Va, was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Identification Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft.  Roberto Lainez, 23, of Chesterfield, Va., a former Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle customer service representative, was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Identification Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Fraud.  Benjamin Paz-Villalobos, 32, and Enoc Doblado Zuniga, 29, both of Richmond, Va., were charged with Conspiracy to Commit Identification Fraud, False Claims to United States Citizenship, and Illegal Re-entry of a Removed Alien.  Kenia Vanessa Gomez Mendez, 28, of Richmond, Va., and Manuel Alexander Saban Bedoya, 24, of Chesterfield, Va., were charged with Conspiracy to Commit Identification Fraud and False Claims to United States Citizenship. 

            According to the indictment, returned on Oct. 18, 2011, from approximately 2008 to the present, Salamanca would obtain social security cards and birth certificates for real United States citizens and sell those documents to illegal aliens.  She allegedly would accompany the purchasers to various governmental agencies, including the Departments of Motor Vehicles in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, to obtain official government-issue identity cards and driver’s licenses.

            In the Fall of 2010, the indictment charges, Salamanca recruited Lainez, in exchange for bribes, to assist her customers in falsifying DMV records and issuing drivers’ licenses or ID cards under false pretenses. 

            Lainez and Salamanca each face a maximum penalty of 20 years on the Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Fraud charge, along with a fine of $250,000.  On the Conspiracy to Commit Identification Fraud, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 15 years and a fine of $250,000.  Salamanca also faces a two year consecutive sentence for each Aggravated Identity Theft charge.
      
This case was investigated by the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles-Office of Law Enforcement Services, and Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General.  Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen W. Miller and Erik S. Siebert are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

            Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.

 

 

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