Website Operators Admit To Forgery Charges
State Attorney General Spitzer today announced the guilty pleas of three people responsible for operating a website that sold fake New York State drivers licenses and other fraudulent documents.
The three defendants from Western New York pleaded guilty to forgery charges in Supreme Court, Erie County in connection with the operation of "perfectids.com," a website that sold fraudulent identification which included driver licenses and social security cards.
The website touted high quality reproductions which included imbedded security features such as ultraviolet watermarks, scanable barcodes, and holograms. These features made the fraudulent identification virtually indistinguishable from official government issued identification.
"This website was not a legitimate business enterprise," Spitzer said.
Spitzer noted that in addition to facilitating underage purchase of alcohol, the fraudulent identification could be used in other more serious crimes.
Christopher Casacci, 22, of Amherst admitted to Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia, that he was responsible for creating and selling phony New York State driver licenses through Casacci's website, perfectids.com. Molly Neri, 23, of Amherst and Katarzyna Kaczor, 21, of Kenmore admitted they worked with Casacci to create and sell dozens of fake New York drivers licenses. The IDs sold for $150 each.
The guilty pleas were the result of an investigation by the New York State Attorney General's Office, the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority Police, the New York State Police, the FBI's Buffalo Cyber Task Force, the United States Secret Service and the Erie County Sheriff's Department. The electronic evidence that was seized from the defendants in March 2003 was examined and analyzed by the Western New York Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory.
According to the criminal complaint, Casacci designed and operated the website. Casacci sold and shipped these documents to customers with the help of Neri and Kaczor.
The illegal enterprise was uncovered when some of the packages were undeliverable and law enforcement was notified.
Casacci plead guilty to attempted Forgery in the Second Degree, a class E felony and faces a maximum of 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison when he is sentenced on January 10, 2005. Neri and Kaczor face a maximum sentence of one year when sentenced on January 10, 2005, based upon their guilty plea to Forgery in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor.
Attorney General Spitzer acknowledged and thanked the partners in the law enforcement agencies who assisted in the investigation, including Niagara Frontier Transit Authority Police Office Kevin Shilling and Detectives Thomas Gerace and David Wane, New York State Police Investigator Tom Spulecki, Supervising Special Agent Holly Hubert and Special Agent Michael Cheng of the FBI's Buffalo Cyber Task Force, U.S. Secret Service Agent Richard Ford, and Erie County Sheriff's Detective Greg Savage and Chief Scott Patronik.
This matter was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Paul F. McCarthy of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Viola Abbitt. Supervising Investigator James L. Domres of the Attorney General's Investigations Bureau directed the investigation.