Chris Rizo Apr. 10, 2008, 10:03pm
AUSTIN-A company that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sued to stop selling fake driver's licenses to illegal immigrants was ordered Thursday by a state judge to stop doing business.
Harris County District Judge Grant Dorfman granted a temporary restraining order, prohibiting Centro de Identificaciones Inc. from continuing to sell or manufacture the bogus documents.
Abbott sued the Houston-based company and its owners, alleging that the company used deceptive trade practices by promising consumers that with the documents they would be able to drive legally, get insurance and sell cars.
The company, owned by Guillermo R. Robles and Hernan C. Trujillo, issued what they purported to be "international driver's licenses" for $225.
"These defendants are charged with unlawfully selling fake driver's licenses to immigrants," Abbott said in a statement. "The scheme preyed upon foreign nationals who reside in this country who were seeking a driver's license. The fake licenses conferred a false appearance of legitimacy on those who are in the United States illegally."
The Attorney General is seeking restitution for consumers, as well as civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation and attorneys' fees.
Civil penalties of up to $250,000 are being sought if the defendants' conduct was found to harm individuals aged 65 or older, the attorney general's office said.