Sunday, January 30, 2011

Restitution Sought From Loyo Named In Wisconsin Department Of Justice Lawsuit For Selling Credenciales USA Fake IDs

Hugo Loyo Cobos in background.

Photo by HNG

The Department of Justice in Wisconsin is seeking information on the whereabouts of major Wisconsin fake ID operator that targeted undocumented immigrants

By H. Nelson Goodson
January 30, 2011

Madison, Wisconsin - The Wisconsin Department of Justice is trying to locate Hugo I. Loyo Cobos, a major Credenciales USA fake ID seller who fled into Mexico after his operation went out of business. Loyo is originally from the State of Veracruz in Mexico and was a member of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad 2006-2008 associated with the Chicago Mexican Consulate.
In early December, State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) had filed an enforcement action against Credenciales USA, LLC and its owner, Hugo I. Loyo for the marketing and sale of fake international driver's licenses and state identification cards in Milwaukee County. Loyo Cobos sold IDs and International Driving Permits (IDP) for $200-$400 each, the IDP actually cost $10 for translation in associations that are allowed to legally offer them.
According to the DOJ complaint, Credenciales USA, LLC marketed and sold purported “International Driver's Licenses” and Wisconsin “identification cards” to Milwaukee-area undocumented consumers on Spanish language radio stations in La GranD 104.7 FM, news magazines and newspapers like El Semanario de Milwaukee. Loyo had a weekly one hour show in La GranD located in West Allis. The company marketed the cards as valid forms of identification, which they were not. In addition, neither Credenciales USA, LLC nor Loyo are authorized by the government to make or sell official identification cards.
“This company engaged in false and misleading practices in Wisconsin," Van Hollen said, “The Wisconsin Department of Justice joins the Federal Trade Commission in warning consumers to be wary of the sale of fraudulent identification cards. Drivers risk losing money and can even face criminal liability, if attempting to present fraudulent identification cards as valid driver's licenses."
According to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), only two organizations are authorized by the U.S. Department of State to legally issue and sell International Drivers' Licenses or Permits (“IDPs”) to U.S residents and they are the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance.
The State seeks to have Credenciales USA, LLC and Loyo enjoined from further violations. It also seeks restitution, forfeitures and fines. The case was brought on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection and is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Nelle R. Rohlich.
Van Hollen in December did not specified, if state criminal charges will be filed against Loyo Cobos.
Today in Wisconsin, other businesses continue to use a similar fake ID. Some businesses in the predominately Hispanic South side have placed window signs advertising AmeraCard ID, which is not a real ID, but is sold as an alternative ID to undocumented immigrants. The AmeraCard is sold as a personal ID and could specify any state a purchaser wants at the MC Multiservices, 1010 S. Cesar E. Chavez Dr. in Milwaukee and their Madison location. MC advertised the novelty fake ID in various publications and a small poster sign is displayed at the store front window. AmeraCard is provided by AmeraCard Enterprises Inc. from Stamford, Ct. Website at
Loyo Cobos had sold Credenciales USA identification cards and international driving permits at its former location 3031 W. Lincoln Ave., which is now closed. In 2008, Loyo came under fire from a coalition of businesses, financial institutions, various non-profit organizations, including both Voces de la Frontera and the South Side Organizing Committee for trying to lure unsuspecting victims to buy worthless IDs with the state seal on them. Former State Representative, Pedro Colón from the 8th Assembly District had filed a complaint with the DOJ to investigate Loyo and Credenciales USA.
Loyo Cobos has said, the IDs sold by Credenciales USA were officially recognized by his company and Banco Amex International LLC, which was located in the same building. Loyo Cobos was the Chairman of Banco Amex International, and Mike Contreras was the President, according to business records. Both the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) previously stated, Banco Amex International was not legally registered or authorized to operate as a bank.
In early October 2008, Loyo Cobos had also tried to sell fake Mexican driver licenses in Wsiconsin to Mexican nationals in the U.S. with the help of Jorge Carassco Delgado from Global Search de México, S.A. de C.V. which operated Licencias Mexicanas (Mexican Licenses) in California.
Degaldo and Loyo offered fake Mexican licenses from the states of Veracruz, Aguascalientes, Hildago and Oaxaca for a price ranging between $160.00 and $180.00.
Before Licencias Mexicanas shut down after being exposed for selling fake licenses, their website twww.LicenciasMexicanas dot com on the internet Information stated a combine of more than 40,000 licenses from the previously mentioned Mexican states had been sold in the United States of America averaging a gross total of more than $6 million U.S. dollars in taxable earnings, since it was established. The Mexican licenses were sold without a driving or vision tests in the following states of Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey, and Texas, according to Licencias Mexicanas.
The Mexican government confirmed Delgado's Licencias Mexicanas was a bogus operation netting millions of U.S. dollars from undocumented immigrants and cheating the Internel Revenue Service and the U.S. government from reporting taxable earned income by Delgado and his accomplices.

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