Ark. AG looks to stop fake driver's licenses

Keith Loria Nov. 17, 2010, 7:36pm


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) - Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced on Wednesday that he has filed a lawsuit against a company and its owner for allegedly selling phony international driver's licenses and fake IDs.

The Virginia-based Beraca Publishing and Miguel Lazarte, its owner, allegedly sold official-looking international licenses and U.S. identification cards to Arkansas consumers, advertising that they were valid in all 50 states and could be used as a secondary form of ID.

That statement, the suit alleges, isn't accurate and the defendants are allegedly in violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

"Beraca and Lazarte are targeting Arkansas consumers who are unfamiliar with official identification cards," McDaniel said. "The company is intentionally misleading purchasers regarding the source, approval and certification of these cards. Consumers who attempt to use one of these documents could even face criminal penalties for driving without a license."

The company draws people to the cards in advertisements on the internet and in "Periodico Hechos," an Hispanic publication. The fraudulent driving documents were sold for $100 each, while the ID cards are sold for $40 each.

The Federal Trade Commission reported that the U.S. State Department has authorized only the American Automobile Association and the National Automobile Club to issue International Driver's Permits in the United States.

McDaniel is requesting that the company be ordered to immediately stop all illegal practices in the state and that they pay restitution and civil penalties for their actions.

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