Six individuals have been charged in Boston federal court for the buying and selling of false identification documents. The documents were subsequently used in some cases to allow for fraudulent voter registration.
The Department of Justice alleges four state workers at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles cooperated with two other individuals to sell documents to illegal aliens. The complex operation involved stolen Puerto Rican Social Security cards and birth certificates. Clients would take those false documents to the now-charged RMV clerks in order to obtain drivers' licenses and ID cards, according to the DOJ:
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The scheme involved several steps. First, it is alleged that Flako, the document dealer, sold a Puerto Rican birth certificate and U.S. Social Security card to Brea, the document vendor, for approximately $900. Brea, in turn, sold the stolen identities for over $2,000 to clients seeking legitimate identities in Massachusetts. These clients included illegal aliens, individuals who were previously deported, and an individual who admitted to previously facing drug charges.
After Flako sold Brea the false identification papers, Brea typically used the counterfeit documents and false identities and addresses to fraudulently register the clients to vote in the City of Boston. Then, Brea and the client brought the stolen identities to the Haymarket RMV, where Medina, Gracia, Jordan, and/or Brimage would accept cash to illegally issue authentic RMV documents, including Massachusetts licenses and ID cards. The clerks also accepted cash to use the RMV’s system to run queries, including Social Security number audits, to confirm that the identities the clients were stealing actually belonged to verifiable individuals.
The six defendants are charged with aggravated identity theft. An anonymous tip to the Massachusetts state police in 2015 initiated the investigation that ultimately led to the charges, and the Department of Justice continues to investigate.
"The investigation into the corruption and identity theft scheme is ongoing," the statement reads.
Judicial Watch reports that forgery operations that use Puerto Rican documents have been pervasive for years, and may be worsening with the U.S. territory's ongoing recession. It remains unclear how many clients the Boston group supplied with illicit documents, or how long it carried on the operation.
These charges come as President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions continue to prioritize voter fraud, even as critics allege that voter fraud is a "myth." Trump's Commission on Election Integrity has been the target of criticism and has received pushback from states that seek to ensure voter rights are protected. Last month, the ACLU sued the president over the commission.