Monday, July 27, 2009

Identity Theft ring caught in California

On a spring day last year, a Pakistani man came to Shamsha Laiwalla looking for help. He told her he had recently jumped off a cargo ship docked in the Port of Los Angeles and was now looking to buy a new identity. On the surface, Laiwalla was not an obvious go-to person. She owns a seemingly innocuous vehicle registration company -- one of the thousands in California that take care of DMV-related tasks for people willing to pay for the convenience.

For years, however, the 44-year-old Pakistan native has offered customers a startling menu of illegal services as the architect of an extensive fraud ring involving sev7/26/09.eral DMV employees she regularly paid to produce licenses and other documents, according to Los Angeles police and federal officials. The names of at least some of her alleged clients have surfaced in ongoing federal investigations into national security issues, said LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing.

The Pakistani man was, in fact, an undercover detective in the Los Angeles Police Department's counter-terrorism bureau, which is headed by Downing. For $3,500, Laiwalla told the detective, she could get a valid California driver's license with his photo, an expertly forged birth certificate and a Social Security card, police say. All the documents would bear his new name, Francisco Gonzalez Rios.


mary August 4, 2009 at 4:45 PM  

how about more information of this case?

Alan August 20, 2009 at 9:01 PM  

Hi Mary:
I have been looking for more information on this case as you asked, but have only found rehashed news stories with basically the same data. I will keep working on it. Thank you for your interest. Try this article as the best of the rest: "ID Theft Ring Allegedly Bribed DMV Employees" at


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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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