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Press Release

Two Virginia men plead guilty to trafficking in fake IDs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two men pled guilty today to importing, manufacturing, and trafficking fraudulent​ identity documents.

According to court documents, Arya Ebrahimi, 28, of Gainesville, and Tarik Sayed Metwally, 31, of Fairfax, imported high-quality counterfeit driver licenses and identification cards from China to the United States. Ebrahimi and Metwally operated an online enterprise using various websites, including apexsfakes.com and fakeyourdrank.com, to sell counterfeit IDs.

Ebrahimi opened bank accounts in the name of Top Notch IT Services, Inc., and Apex Tech Services, Inc., through which customers deposited payments through such payment platforms as Zelle. To receive shipments of fake IDs from China, they used fraudulent IDs and fake names. Ebrahimi rented a box in Manassas under the name Brian Padilla using a fake Illinois driver license and a box in Gainesville under the name Jordan Kalan using a fake North Carolina driver license. Metwally rented a box in Fairfax under the name Omar Mustafa using a fake Illinois driver license and a box in Vienna under the name Ahmed Mohammed using another fake Illinois driver license.

The fraudulent identification documents were sold to individuals across the United States. In addition to individuals who wanted to appear 21-years-old or older, some customers were foreign nationals, others had criminal histories for fraud and firearms convictions, and one individual who used a fake ID to operate a scheme to sell stolen vehicles. Ebrahimi and Metwally made or procured thousands of fake identification documents. Their criminal enterprise continued until at least July 2020. On Aug. 8, 2022, Ebrahimi knowingly engaged in a financial transaction of criminally derived property in the transfer of $29,736.83.

Ebrahimi is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 18 and faces up to 15 years in prison for trafficking in false identification documents and 10 years in prison for engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity. Metwally is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 4 and faces up to 15 years in prison for trafficking in false identification documents. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Derek W. Gordon, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessandra Serano and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph D. G. Castro are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:24-cr-53.

Contact

Press Officer
USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov

Updated June 26, 2024

Topic
Cybercrime