Fourth person pleads guilty in Charlottesville fake ID ring
DelRio charged with conspiracy to commit identification fraud
At the time of their arrests in May 2013, the group — which sold primarily to University students — had distributed 25,000 IDs with profits of upwards of $2.5 million.
The fake ID ring saga that led to guilty pleas from three Charlottesville residents last year continued this past Wednesday with the guilty plea of a fourth person involved in the case.
Michael DelRio, 19, from Edison, N.J. was contracted by the group for $15,000 to help make their website and streamline the business, creating an online system to input biographical information later used in ID creation, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.
Delrio was faced with a charge of conspiracy to commit identification fraud, which comes with a maximum punishment of a $250,000 fine and up to 15 years in jail. By entering a plea deal, he will likely receive a lighter punishment.
The group, whose company went by the name Novel Design, was run out of a home on Rugby Road by Alan McNeil Jones, Kelly Erin McPhee and Mark Guerin Bernardo. Their operation was discovered by investigators through the U.S. Post Office in Charlottesville, which they used to pick up cash payments.
At the time of their arrests in May 2013, the group — which sold primarily to college students — had distributed 25,000 IDs with profits of upwards of $2.5 million.
Federal prosecutors have stated they will not seek to charge students who purchased IDs from the company, but that they intend to send letters of notice to the individuals and their respective universities.
DelRio will face formal sentencing in June. Jones, McPhee and Bernardo have already been sentenced to federal prison.