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Rep. Colón Wants County D.A. To Investigate Possible Fraud

by H. Nelson Goodson Saturday, Jul. 12, 2008 at 4:05 PM 4 3206 W. National Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53215

Credenciales USA targeted for investigation on allegations of fraud and misrepresentation

Rep. Colón Wants Co...
id_credenciales_usa_7.11.08.jpg, image/jpeg, 960x1280

Rep. Colón Wants County D.A. To Investigate Possible Fraud

Credenciales USA targeted for investigation on allegations of fraud and misrepresentation

By H. Nelson Goodson

El Conquistador Newspaper

3206 W. National Ave.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215


July 11, 2008

Milwaukee - Last week, State Representative Pedro Colón send a letter to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm to look into the business practices of local business Credenciales USA. Colón states in the letter, “The practices of Credenciales USA seem to be engaging in engaging in similar activity of fraud and misrepresentation.” Colón is referring to a Notary Public (Notarios) who have engaged in legal advise, and claim that they would provide legal services or pretend to act as attorney’s when notarizing documents. He sponsored a legislative bill which makes it illegal for a Notary Public to act as an attorney. The bill passed.

The initial response by Colón was triggered by numerous calls from constituents complaining about the alleged activities conducted by the business in the predominantly Latino community. Credenciales USA is claiming that their secondary ID’s and International Driver Licenses issued to their clients are recognized and acceptable to open bank accounts, boarding an airplane for domestic and international travel or obtaining a Wisconsin license plate for a vehicle, which Colón says these forms of identification are not acceptable in most transactions.

Residents in Colón’s district feel Credenciales USA is engaging in fraudulent advertising and is potentially taking advantage of unsuspecting individuals, according to Colón who represents the 8th Assembly District. Colón also forwarded a copy of the letter to push Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the State Department of Justice to conduct their own investigation into allegations of fraudulent activity by Credenciales USA.

The county D.A. and the state attorney general should both request Loyo and Credenciales USA to refund money to those people affected by the worthless ID’s.

Today, Credenciales USA continues to manufacture identification cards that bear the Wisconsin State Seal and could be mistaken as official ID’s, which numerous local banks, and the Mexican Consulate of Chicago won’t accept or recognized as legitimate ID’s.

The Southside Organizing Committee, and Voces de la Frontera held a press conference at Mitchell Bank last weekend to warn people about useless and misleading identification documents being advertised and sold by Credenciales U.S.A., 3031 W. Lincoln Ave. in Milwaukee and other businesses who offer worthless identification cards geared for undocumented immigrants. Hugo Loyo who operates Credenciales USA says he took over the ID business from Transfernet USA/Mex Inc. which offers secondary ID cards and International driving permits as a business.

In 2007, Governor Jim Doyle signed 2005 Wisconsin Act 126 into law barring the Department of Motor Vehicle from issuing driver licenses and identification cards to aliens and residents without proof of legal status or a valid Social Security. The state legislature passed it to comply with the federal Real ID Act of 2005.

Loyo says, he began providing the secondary ID after the law took effect to help people in the community get an ID. “It’s not an official ID and the ID states in the back that it’s not a government-issued identification,” emphasized Loyo.

Loyo believes he is not doing anything illegal and is complying with the law. An ID goes for for one year, for two years and for three years. An International driving permit goes for 0 for one year, 0 for two years, and 0 for three years, according to an employee at Credenciales. The employee said, you don’t have to be in the country legally to get an International driving permit from them.

Through radio ads in La GranD 104.7 FM, Loyo suggests the ID’s are credible because it would serve as an identification card recognized by the Mexican Consulate of Chicago, according to Loyo’s 4x6 postcards advertisement.

The groups who are speaking out against these type of useless ID’s from Credenciales USA and Ameracard believe otherwise. Alfonso Joule from the Mexican Consulate confirmed a week ago, that the Mexican Consulate does not recognized or accepted Credenciales USA ID’s despite Loyo’s advertisement that they do. Cristine Neumann-Ortiz from Voces de la Frontera says, she has received complaints that the ID’s are seen as a substitute for a valid Wisconsin Drivers license, which they are not. People could be put at risk of arrest for using them. People who are in the country legally can use their driver license from their country of origin for a limited time to drive and don’t need to get an International driving permit, added Neumann-Ortiz. She wants Loyo to close his business of selling worthless ID’s.

In Wisconsin, anyone over the age of 21 must have a valid state ID or a driver’s license to buy beer and alcohol, enter a tavern, and night clubs where alcohol is served. Credenciales USA ID’s are not valid to buy alcohol, enter taverns and night clubs, according to state officials.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, the ID has no official function, does not comply with the Patriot Act, and can be misleading. When traveling on commercial airlines and trains, the Transportation Security Administration only recognizes a valid Passport, state issued Driver’s License, Military ID’s, and current student ID’s over the age of 18.

However, Loyo says the ID’s by Credenciales USA are officially recognized by his company and Banco Amex International LLC, which is operated in the same building. Loyo is the Chairman of Banco Amex International, and Mike Contreras is the President, according to business records. Both the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) state, Banco Amex International is not legally registered or authorized to operate as a bank.

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