Three Baton Rouge, La., men were arrested by the Louisiana State Police and charged with making and selling fake automobile insurance cards and inspection stickers, the Associated Press reported.
“This is a major problem in Louisiana,” Trooper Marcus Smith said. “We see numerous cases of fraudulent insurance cards, but this is the first time we have seen so many from a single source.”
Daniel D. Sanders, 62, was arrested July 27 on six counts of forgery, two counts of altered or forged motor vehicle insurance decal, and one count of theft of utility service.
Lajunar Raynell Gauff, 50, was arrested Aug. 5 on seven counts of forgery and one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.
Lee Hawkins III, 50, was arrested Aug. 5 on 16 counts of forgery.
Gauff is accused of producing fake insurance cards, and Hawkins is accused of producing fake inspection stickers, said Sgt. Catherine Flinchum.
Sanders is accused of buying the false documents and selling them on the street. The inspection stickers were sold for $20, while the insurance cards were going for at least $80, state police said.
The three men worked independently, Smith said, but they all know each other.
Since January, 31 people across the state have been arrested for producing or selling fake insurance cards, Smith said.
People who buy the fake documents and try to pass them off as real also could be charged with forgery, a felony, regardless of whether the buyer is aware of the fraud, Smith said.
Although many of the buyers probably knew they were breaking the law, some did not realize it, said Sgt. Henry Reed.
“They prey on citizens that can’t get insurance from a reputable firm,” Reed said.
In some cases, people who were pulled over and ticketed for having the fake cards are cooperating with the police as witnesses. Other tips came from the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles, Smith said.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.