Md. Student Faces Charges For Selling Fake IDs

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ)– There are serious charges against a University of Maryland straight-A student. He now faces time in prison for making and selling fake IDs.

Mike Hellgren has more on the charges.

This was an honor student. He was a triple major scheduled to graduate early, and it’s rare to see federal charges being brought in a case like this.

Fake IDs are easy to make and easy to get. The feds are cracking down hard at the University of Maryland College Park, where straight-A student Theodore Michaels faces a 16-count indictment for making hundreds of them. It could send him to prison for decades.

Prosecutors claim Michaels would charge around $200 each and made more than $12,000, making Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia driver’s licenses. But fellow students say it goes beyond one case.

“I think it’s a pretty common thing, actually,” said a Maryland student.

“It’s easy to get IDs,” echoed another. “You can just ask one person, like Facebook them, and within a week or two, you’ll have an ID.”

University police say it’s not just about getting into bars.

“People can obtain identification that really belongs to someone else. And that can be used for other crimes, such as identity theft, or in the worst case, to promote terrorist activity,” said Captain Marc Limansky, University Police.

Past WJZ investigations have exposed fake ID rings before, such as one in Lexington Market in Baltimore, and you can get an ID for as little as $50 online.

“Pretty much almost everyone I know has fake IDs,” said a Maryland student. “That’s just how it works.”

Even the daughter of the former president did. A then teenaged Barbara Bush used a fake ID to get into bars; she used a Baltimore address under the name Barbara Pierce.

“There’s always someone out there trying to create the counterfeit product,” said Buel Young, MVA. “We have embedded security features that are difficult to replicate.”

But federal charges for small-time manufacturers are rare, which is why the attorney for the Maryland student now facing indictment says he’s surprised this has turned into a federal case. His attorney says his client is a spectacular kid with an unblemished record and faces a terrible accusation that will affect him for the rest of his life.

The student’s lawyer did not say whether the student plans to plead guilty or not guilty.

So far, the student has faced no disciplinary action from the school.  His lawyer says he’s busy studying for his finals.

More from Mike Hellgren
Comments

One Comment

  1. richard kroeger says:

    dont send this kid to prison it would be a waste he will only turn into a very intelegent criminal and not in a very good state of mind punish him of course
    but not with a stick but with a chance you can turn him around .like they do with very good hackers we need him on our side

    1. kizzy love says:

      i agree with u 100%

    2. Shanta says:

      I agree Richard!

  2. WHY says:

    HOLY POOP> This screams for community service, A fine. Not a punitive action that will ruin this kids life. It reminds me of “kids” who got over the top jail terms for having a little marijuana cigarette 20/30 years ago.

    1. kizzy love says:

      agreed sendin him to jail is gonna do what NOTHING!!!

  3. tee says:

    We don’t know the whole story. They may have had this student for other suspected crimes and this was all they could charge. If this was squeaky clean, you would expect a deal or suspended sentence etc. Maybe something fishy with why such a bright person is already making ends meet with forgery????

  4. not cool says:

    a friend of mine got caught doing the same thing. $25k in fines and numerous hours of community service. not to mention he lost his scholarship. not so smart

  5. TJN72 says:

    Why don’t the feds go after the illegals with fake ids and s s# of citizens of this country.?

  6. nice job says:

    Young entrepeneur…i see no problem with this….was probably using the $$$ to pay for his education!!!

  7. RDNKKKGRL says:

    GEEZ BACK IN THE 80’S WEN I WAAS GROWING UP IF U GOT CAUGHT GOING INTO A BAR WITH FAKE ID THE BOUNCERS USUALLY JUST EITHER TURNED U AWAY OR KEEP UR FAKE ID SO U COULDNT USE IT ANYMORE U NO NO MATTER WAT THEY DO TO THE KID THERES JUST GONNA B SOMEONE ELSE TO MAKE THEM!!!!……………..IF THEY CANT GET FAKE ID’S THEYLL JUST PAY SOMEONE TO BUY THERE ALCOHOL CAUSE TRUST ME “WHERE THERES A WILL THERES A WAY”!!!

  8. Rose L says:

    Oh this is crazy you have murderers and rapist walking the street everyday freely and they are not behind bars so why on earth would you put this harmless guy in jail for this petty crime what about all those who bought fake id’s they are just as much to blame as he is.

    1. Kimberly Blackwell says:

      i agree

  9. Mike W says:

    Sending this Honor student to Jail is the wrong thing to do. It’s just a bunch of college kids trying to get some beer.

  10. Kimberly Blackwell says:

    i agree mike this world gets crazier and crazier every day if they dont have fake id theyll just pay someone to buy there alcohol its a damn phase kids go through

  11. Tyler says:

    When I was a freshman in college 3 years ago it was a right of passage to go downtown to get a fake id. I paid $200 for mine. There were kids in my grade that made new York state ID’s for 150. They’re everywhere. Most of the bars we went to KNEW they were fake. Sometimes I’d use my student id

  12. alexkowalski says:

    the kid made ids to pay of his ridiculously over priced education and now he’s going to get fined and put in jail. education is the biggest scam i know of..

  13. RDNKKKGRL says:

    kick him outta school wats jail gonna do hell probably escape from there anyway the reason y there beeing so hard on him is because identity theft and terrorism is outta control these days in order for the fake id to look real they need one of those embossed stamps or watever thats on your drivers license so if that was on there thats big time he couldof only got that by hacking into somebody importants computer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
Your Podcast Network Play.it

Listen Live