A man from Monrovia was among several arrests made Wednesday morning after the Department of Motor Vehicles launched a pair of search operations focusing on the suspected production of fake ID cards and driver's licenses.
The searches capped off an eight-month investigation, leading to the arrest of 26-year-old Peter Scott Singer of Monrovia, Todd Terrazas, 24, of West Hollywood, and Lawrence Benjamin Goldstein, 22, of Los Angeles. According to the DMV and Los Angeles Police Department, all three face felony charges of forging government identity documents and the falsification of state seals.
Law enforcement records showed Singer released the same day he was booked, while Terrazas was released on bond and Goldstein made bail.
The net of the DMV's search warrants spanned five locations: Monrovia, Venice, West Hollywood, San Marino, and Pacific Palisades. Among the items investigators acquired included computer equipment, printers, and other evidence of what authorities are calling a "counterfeit operation millhouse."
A second operation led to the arrests of 28-year-old Carlos Ku of Los Angeles and 31-year-old Bellflower resident Alejandro Rubalcava. Both men were ex-employees of the DMV, with Ku working out of the Santa Monica field office for six years and Rubalcava operating out of Hawthorne. Both men were arrested at their homes.
Each man charged on suspicion of "computer crimes related to processing, issuing and selling of driver licenses to individuals who did not legitimately possess legal presence documentation and did not legally pass drive test requirements," according to a release from the LAPD. Both are also accused of allegedly working with someone who would sell driver's licenses to customers willing to pay for tests. The DMV then says their two former employees accessed the department database and "entered fraudulent information to circumvent legal presence and testing requirements."
“The practice of using fake IDs is constantly evolving and getting more sophisticated. From a homeland security perspective, this is a threat to not only public safety, but national security. The illegal operation we shut down was putting dangerous drivers on the road and endangering the public,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck in a released statement.
Editor's note: This story has been changed. The original contained information from the LAPD that each man was being held on $100,000 bail. The story now reflects the latest information from records. Patch regrets the error.