Friday, May 20, 2011

2 arrested in driver's licenses for illegals scam (AP c/o San Francisco Chronicle)

2 arrested in driver's licenses for illegals scam
Amy Taxin
Friday, May 20, 2011

Two men were arrested in what authorities described Thursday as an elaborate scheme to help more than 200 illegal immigrants from Korea and China obtain California driver's licenses using doctored Canadian passports.

Dae Wahn Ahn, 49, of Diamond Bar (Los Angeles County) and Chong Hwan Kim, 47, of Norwalk (Los Angeles County) were arrested Wednesday and charged with manufacturing false documents, using false documents to conceal citizenship, perjury, forgery, conspiracy and false personation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

Authorities said the men charged illegal immigrants between $3,500 and $5,000 to help them obtain driver's licenses at multiple Department of Motor Vehicles offices in Kern County.

The men are accused of using altered Canadian passports and Social Security numbers that had belonged to Chinese workers in the Northern Mariana Islands to apply for the licenses, immigration officials said.

They advertised services in Korean newspapers, luring clients from across Southern California and even other states, said Michael Toms, resident agent-in-charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement homeland security investigations in Bakersfield.

Ahn and Kim were expected to be arraigned Friday in state court in Bakersfield. Authorities began investigating in January 2010 after a DMV employee reported irregularities in a Canadian passport with new biographic pages that had been inserted and the photograph replaced.

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