SAN FRANCISO, Calif. - A Los Angeles-area man who admitted operating two websites that sold counterfeit IDs was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to 33 months in prison for transferring false identification documents, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.
Ramin Bibian, 47, was sentenced to 33 months in prison and had to forfeit $1.9 million to the federal government, which covers the proceeds from the sale of the false identification documents.
"Trafficking in counterfeit documents presents serious security vulnerabilities and contributes to a host of other types of crimes, including identity theft and financial fraud," said Clark Settles, special agent in charge for HSI San Francisco. "Our goal in these investigations is to identify and ultimately dismantle the criminal organizations behind these highly lucrative schemes."
The website Bibian was running was called Newidcards.com and offered state driver's licenses and identification cards for prices ranging from $135 to more than $250. For an additional fee, customers could add special features to their identification cards, such as holograms, magnetic encoded strips and high definition printing similar to that used by state agencies.
According to ICE agents, Bibian advertised his products as novelty items, but he admitted that the identification cards were similar to legitimately-issued state identification and that his customers intended to use them as substitutes for such.