Toledo man taking BTC to create fake IDs sentenced
A Toledo man has been sentenced to one year in prison after pleading guilty to creating fake ID cards and distributing them nationally in a counterfeiting ring. This punishment came down on September 18.
Aaron Kuns had pled guilty back in June to being part of a distribution ring that created false identity cards. He was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and was placed on three years of supervised probation once he is released. He also forfeited nearly $10,000 in cryptocurrency holdings as part of the original apprehension.
According to court filings, the 35-year-old Toledo man had been “manufacturing fake IDs in a large-scale scheme funded in part with [BTC] cryptocurrency.”
What became troubling to law enforcement was that the quality of the fake IDs was extremely good. This included coming with the coded magnetic strips that would easily scan through most detectors, such as airports. In fact, Robert Kern, the assistant US attorney involved in the case, explained that “Someone could have actually gotten on an airplane” using the ID cards.
Kern explained that the IDs were all purchased by adults, with many purchasing more than one ID under different names. These IDs, according to Kern, were likely used for criminal activity.
Kuns was first arrested in early 2018, along with three others. The others, which included Mark Alex Simon, Sarah Alberts, and Benjamin Stalets, were all indicted as part of the conspiracy ring. Alberts also pled guilty in July, accepting guilt for money laundering among other charges. She will be sentenced next month. Simon also pled guilty and will be sentenced in October. The fate of Stalets is still yet unknown.
In court, the 35-year-old apologized for his illegal activities. He explained to Judge Jeffrey Helmick that he took full responsibility for his actions. He added that he “wasn’t happy with who I became,” and added that the charges have helped him to learn “a lot about myself.”
Kuns had no prior record before the arrest. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of somewhere between 24 and 30 months, but the judge opted to grant leniency in the case. It appears his contrition and focus on changing his life played a part. According to Donna Grill, the public defender representing Kuns, “This case has really helped to get him on a path to a better life, a more enjoyable life.
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