Aurora college student accused of running phony ID scheme
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org April 2, 2012 6:52PM
Akash Reddy, Aurora man charged with making fake IDs.
Updated: May 4, 2012 8:12AM
A computer-savvy suburban college student allegedly used his skills to create and sell at least 500 phony but authentic-looking drivers licenses from Illinois and other states.
The business apparently was lucrative: Investigators found in Akash Reddy’s Aurora home about $25,000 that allegedly came from such sales over the past year or so, authorities said.
The 21-year-old Reddy is accused of selling the bogus licenses and ID cards for $50 to $60 each, mostly to other college students in the Chicago area, said Beth Kaufman, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Secretary of State’s office said. Reddy, who apparently is enrolled in an on-line college program, may have used some of the money to help pay his tuition, she said.
Following an investigation by Secretary of State police, Reddy has been charged with manufacturing phony licenses and having equipment to help manufacture those items. Among the gear investigators say they seized were laminators and hologram imprinters used to stamp licenses with the images as a security device.
If convicted of the felony charges, Reddy could be sentenced to as much as three years in prison.
Reddy, who is free on bail, could not be reached for comment.