News and Press Releases

former st. joseph license office employee pleads guilty

more than 100 illegal aliens used false ID to obtain licenses

December 11, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former employee of the license fee office in St. Joseph, Mo., operated by a contractor for the Missouri Department of Revenue, pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a conspiracy to provide false identity documents so that more than 100 illegal immigrants could fraudulently obtain driver’s and non-driver’s licenses from the license office in St. Joseph.

Thomas Richard McNamara III, 26, of St. Joseph, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to participating in a conspiracy to unlawfully produce identification documents, to unlawfully transfer the means of identification of another person and to commit Social Security fraud.

McNamara was employed at the license office during the time of the conspiracy. Soon after the license office moved to its current location in September 2009, McNamara began conspiring with others to provide Missouri driver’s or non-driver’s licenses to illegal aliens who should not have received these identification documents because they provided inaccurate and/or inadequate documentation of their identity.

Illegal aliens traveled across the United States to obtain licenses at the St. Joseph license office by using unlawfully obtained birth certificates and Social Security cards. It is estimated that well over 100 Missouri licenses have been unlawfully issued to illegal aliens as part of this conspiracy.

According to McNamara, it was common knowledge among the employees at the license office that co-conspirators were assisting illegal aliens to obtain licenses.

McNamara admitted that he was paid $50 to $100 each time he accepted identification documents that were provided by illegal aliens, who were escorted to the license office by co-conspirators under the guise of serving as translators. These unacceptable identification documents included invalid Puerto Rican birth certificates and certain state-issued birth certificates in the names of other persons. After accepting these documents, McNamara issued licenses to the illegal aliens who had assumed the identities of others. The licenses could then be used by the illegal aliens to remain unlawfully in the United States, to unlawfully obtain employment and for other unlawful purposes.

McNamara admitted that he accepted improper documents approximately two to three times a week, but he didn’t do this every week. Co-conspirators often called McNamara before bringing aliens to the license office to make sure he would be working and to let him know they were bringing in clients. McNamara then met with co-conspirators on numerous occasions during non-work hours at locations other than the licensing office to receive payment.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, McNamara must pay a money judgment of no less than $125,000.

Under federal statutes, McNamara is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department, the Platte County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri Department of Revenue Investigation Bureau, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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