Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy for Participation in Fraudulent Driver's License Ring

GUO XING SONG, a/k/a “Andi Chen,” 43, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today in federal district court to two charges in connection with his participation in a fraudulent driver's license ring and to a charge of aggravated identity theft in connection with the sale of a Social Security card issued to another individual by the Social Security Administration.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “This defendant, along with his coconspirator who worked for Georgia Driver's Services, arranged for illegal Chinese nationals to obtain Georgia driver's licenses without documentation and without even taking the driver's exam. The customers paid $2000 to $3000 for real driver's licenses. Now the defendants face real time.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: SONG, who lived in Atlanta between 2001 and 2006, placed ads in a Atlanta area Chinese language newspaper, claiming he could assist persons who did not have documentation to obtain driver’s licenses in Georgia and other states. Persons responding to the ads were instructed to meet SONG or a co-conspirator at a designated location, usually a gas station or shopping center parking lot. They were then driven from the Atlanta area to Georgia Driver’s Service locations in either Colquitt or Thomasville, Georgia. The alleged co-conspirators in that part of the scheme, ZHONG LIANG LI, 34, and his brother, ZHONG HUA LI, 31, formerly of Colquitt, Georgia, were indicted by a federal grand jury on January 19, 2010, and are awaiting trial.

A co-defendant in the case who has already pleaded guilty, CLEVELAND SPENCER, 47, of Thomasville, Georgia, is a former Georgia Driver’s examiner who worked at those Driver’s Service locations. He admitted issuing driver’s licenses to SONG’s customers without requiring any documentation showing legal residence in the United States or the state of Georgia. SPENCER also did not issue the required written and road test examinations to SONG’s customers. SONG or his alleged co-conspirators paid SPENCER for fraudulently issuing the licenses. SPENCER reportedly received $250 to $400 per license. SONG’s customers paid SONG approximately $2,000 to $3,000 for the licenses. Georgia Driver’s records indicate that approximately 300 licenses were fraudulently issued.

In December 2006, SONG sold a genuine Social Security card to a confidential informant, who was purportedly buying it for a Chinese national who was illegally in the United States. The Social Security card actually belonged to an individual who had previously been in the United States on a temporary work visa and returned to China.

SPENCER pleaded guilty to the conspiracy on April 27, 2010, and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 14, 2010, at 10:30 a.m.

SONG was indicted on the charges on January 19, 2010. Today he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of aggravated identity theft. He could receive a maximum possible sentence of up five years in prison on the conspiracy count, and faces a minimum mandatory sentence of two years for the aggravated identity theft. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. In determining the actual sentence on the conspiracy count, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 2, 2010, at 10:30 a.m., before United States District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

No comments: