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Published: Monday, 6/9/2008

Ex-Colorado militia member convicted of fraud in Ohio

A former member of the Colorado militia who was extradited to Ohio earlier this year was convicted last week in U.S. District Court in Ohio on fraud charges.

Ronald Cole pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including 12 counts of unlawful production of identification documents and two counts of wire fraud. He will be sentenced Sept. 15.

According to the indictment filed Nov. 7, Cole created three false Colorado driver's licenses, five false U.S. Social Security cards, three false birth certificates from New York, and one State of Ohio temporary identification card.

Cole also was convicted of submitting false car loan applications to local dealerships.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Uram said the applications inflated Cole's annual income to more than $100,000, about twice what he made.

With the loans given to him by Capital One Auto Finance based on the false information, Cole purchased two "high-end" cars in December, 2005, from the Vin Devers automobile dealership in Sylvania and from Yark Automotive Group in Toledo.

According to Mr. Uram, Cole has an "extensive history" with the militia movement and was a supporter of the religious sect known as the Branch Davidians.

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