A Granada Hills man was arrested by local and federal law enforcement agents this week on suspicion of selling fake identification documents. Otto Escobar was reportedly taken into custody in West Hollywood after a search of his home, his vehicle and his place of business, O.K. Traffic and Driving School in Van Nuys. Officers searching the three locations are said to have seized “dozens” of rubber stamps with fake State and Federal seals, multiple stacks of paper from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with official-looking seals from the State of California, and several Guatemalan passports that were still blank. According to police reports, Escobar created and sold fake Guatemalan passports, certificates of completion for traffic school, and even forms for the Department of Homeland Security that would allow people temporary entry into the United States. Escobar reportedly used his traffic and driving school to sell these fake documents. The investigation into Escobar's business dealings first began in 2008 and eventually grew to involve officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Commercial Crimes Bureau, the Unites States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations group and even the California Department of Motor Vehicles Investigations Division. Escobar was eventually caught selling his fake documents to undercover law enforcement agents. According to reports from law enforcement, other charges against Escobar are pending, though they have not been specified. Escobar was released from custody after posting $20,000 bail. No word has been given as to when he is due in court.
While perhaps not a violent crime, forgery, or the production of fake documents, is still a serious crime that should not be taken lightly. The crime of forgery does not only pertain to the creation of fake identification documents, but falsifying contracts and signatures on documents as well. Being convicted of forgery could find you punished with expensive fines and up to 20 years in a state or federal prison. Because forgery is also a federal criminal offense, you may also find your case tried in a federal court rather than a state or county court. What this means is that you will need an attorney with special qualifications to defend you. A federal criminal defense attorney must be trained and properly licensed to handle your case, not to mention the fact that someone with much experience in this field is essential to ensuring the best possible outcome for you. Call us today to find out what your legal options are.
Categorised in: Federal Crimes