Virginia Maker Of Fake IDs Shut Down | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Virginia Maker Of Fake IDs Shut Down

In Virginia, federal investigators have closed the book on what could be the nation's largest maker of fake IDs. Three people pleaded guilty to supplying up to 25,000 driver's licenses to customers around the world and are facing up to 17 years behind bars.

The word spread rapidly from one college campus to the next. A low-key Virginia company called Novel Designs could provide students under the age of 21 with a bogus drivers license allowing entry to bars and clubs. The cost: $125.

"These were driver's licenses that had holograms, security features, that had photographs cropped with the exact, precise color background—really good product!," said Timothy Heaphy, U.S. Attorney for Virginia's Western District.

He said the recipients of the bogus IDs and their universities are being notified, and other federal agencies are checking to see if the fake cards were used to commit fraud.

"With a driver's license you can get government benefits, you can travel in and out of the country, you can get lines of credit," he said.

The company earned more than $3 million since 2011. Now, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies hope to profit by studying the equipment and techniques Novel Designs used.

The firm's three staffers face up to 17 years behind bars.

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