Illegal Alien Sentenced For Trafficking In Counterfeit Identity Documents And Alleged Document Producer Arrested
Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton has sentenced Gerard Ibarra (57, Mexico) to 10 months in federal prison for fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents. The court also ordered him to forfeit $5,752, which is traceable to proceeds of the offense. Ibarra pleaded guilty on September 25, 2017.
According to court documents, in May 2017, the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) received information from local law enforcement about an individual known as “Perfume Cuco” (later determined to be Ibarra) who was selling fraudulent identification documents to illegal immigrants in Kissimmee. These documents were being sold for $150 to $200 a piece, and included immigrant visas (i.e., “Green Cards”), social security cards, and Florida driver licenses. Agents from HSI and the USSS conducted an undercover investigation during which Ibarra sold a counterfeit Green Card and a counterfeit social security card to an undercover agent. Ibarra was arrested on August 16, 2017, following a second undercover purchase. A subsequent search of his vehicle revealed 10 counterfeit Green Cards, 21 counterfeit social security cards, a counterfeit California driver license and $5,752 in cash. Ibarra later told agents that he had been selling counterfeit cards for about two years and that “business was good.” He estimated that he had sold approximately 2,000 cards.
Further investigation revealed that an individual named “Jimmy,” later identified as Jaime Gaspar (37, Kissimmee), had been supplying the counterfeit cards to Ibarra. On March 7, 2018, Gaspar was arrested and charged by criminal complaint for his involvement in the scheme.
According to court records, Ibarra sent photos and biographic information to Gaspar using a cellphone app. Upon Gaspar’s arrest, agents located his cellphone in his room and confirmed it was the same phone used to perpetuate the fraud with Ibarra.
“HSI places a high priority on investigating document and benefit fraud,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “This crime poses a threat to national security and public safety because it creates a vulnerability that may enable criminals and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States.”
“The results of this investigation are a testament to the Secret Service’s commitment to strong partnerships between local and federal law enforcement agencies,” said Gerard Doret, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service Orlando Field Office.
A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Secret Service as result of HSI’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF), which was created to combat visa fraud and other similar crimes by building upon existing partnerships with other federal and state law enforcement investigators with document and benefit fraud expertise. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina R. Downes, who is on assignment from the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, ICE.