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Third person arrested in large-scale fake ID case

A third person law enforcement officials believe to be involved in a massive fake ID case involving Bitcoin was taken into custody Friday by the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office.

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Aaron D. Kuns.

Lucas County Corrections Center Enlarge

Aaron D. Kuns, 33, of the 3700 block of Dewlawn Drive, is charged with conspiracy, a second-degree felony. Toledo Municipal Court Judge Joseph Howe set his bond at $50,000.

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Mr. Kuns was released the same day after someone paid down 10 percent — or $5,000 — on the bond. He was ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Feb. 21 in Toledo Municipal Court. 

This arrest marks the third in a prolific fake ID scheme involving online currency, gold, and silver. Earlier this week police arrested Toledoan Mark Alex Simon, 34, and Sarah M. Alberts, 34, of Perrysburg following a multiyear investigation into the production of false identification cards.

Investigators believe Mr. Simon was the supposed boss of the operation while Ms. Alberts and Mr. Kuns are accused of working with him to produce “high quality” fake IDs.

According to a lengthy affidavit filed Tuesday by the U.S. Secret Service in U.S. District Court, agents seized from Mr. Simon’s Stengel Drive home about $4.7 million in Bitcoin — a form of online currency — that was contained in approximately 30 “wallets” stored on a USB thumb drive.

They also seized 18 gold coins, more than 200 silver coins, 21 gold and silver bars, documents relating to gold purchases, $7,000 in U.S. currency, a Bitcoin receipt, USB storage devices, identification cards not issued in Mr. Simon’s name, multiple computers and cell phones, and several printing-related items.

Mr. Simon is charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering, identity fraud, manufacture, transfer, sale, or distribution of false identification cards, telecommunications fraud, forgery, and possession of criminal tools. He is being held in the Lucas County jail on a $5 million bond, which was set Wednesday. 

Ms. Alberts was arraigned Friday in Toledo Municipal Court on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy, money laundering, and manufacturing fake identification cards, according to affidavits filed in Toledo Municipal Court. Judge Howe set her bond at $1 million.

A fourth person, Benjamin C. Stalets, 28, of the 2200 block of Parkwood Avenue, is also charged with conspiracy in the case but has not been arrested as of Saturday, according to Lucas County jail  and municipal court records.

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