A federal grand jury returned four-count indictment charging four people from the Toledo area with production of false identification document, transfer of false identification documents, and possession of document-making implements and authentication features, said U.S Attorney Justin E. Herdman.
Charged in the indictment are: Mark Alex Simon, 34; Sarah Alberts, 34; Aaron Kuns, 33, and Benjamin Stalets, 28. Alberts is from Perrysburg, the others are from Toledo.
The defendants created and transferred documents which appeared to drivers’ licenses and personal identification cards issued by the states of Ohio, Michigan and Utah. This took place between June 2013 and February 2018, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors are seeking to forfeit more than 500 bitcoins with an estimated value of $5.1 million, approximately $8,603 in cash and gold and silver coins and bars with an estimated value of $265,299 that were seized as part of the investigation, according to the indictment.
This case is the result of partnership between the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office and United States Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Noah P. Hood and Robert W. Kern are prosecuting the case following an investigation by the Ohio Department of Public Safety-Ohio Investigative Unit, United States Secret Service, and Wood County Prosecutor's Office.
If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, if any, the defendants’ role in the offenses, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial, in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.