Friday, February 11, 2011

Milwaukee Local Tax Preparers Offering Worthless IDs In The South Side

Click photo to enlarge.

Several income tax preparers on S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive selling AmeraCard IDs or similar IDs deemed worthless to customers.

By H. Nelson Goodson
February 11, 2011

Milwaukee - On Friday, an advertisement from MC Multiservicios located at 1010 S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive in Milwaukee is offering personal ID Cards. The Ad appeared in the latest Latinos al Día (7th year, number 71) monthly magazine. The AmeraCard IDs are just novelty cards, but MC sells them to customers needing an ID for other purposes, according to allegations raised by former customers. The IDs apparently are sold between $150 to $200 a piece to each person when they apply for an ITIN number application from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) while preparing tax forms at MC. The IRS accepts the secondary ID when preparing tax forms. Copies of the ID and other documentation is sent to the IRS along with the tax forms when getting an ITIN tax number. Another type of secondary ID is offered by MC, which costs about $50.00 and is more popular with MC customers. The ID has the State of Wisconsin flag on the left side corner and has Wisconsin printed with large red letters and under it says, "State Resident." It's not similar to AmeraCard, but it includes the place of birth of the ID holder and costs only $50.00. Most people who buy them don't have an actual state or official identification.
In Illinois, the AmeraCard is illegal to sell with the state name on it, but advertising posters at the MC office and an ad placed in Latinos al Día magazine by MC shows an AmeraCard ID with the Illinois name printed on it. The magazine ad shows both types of IDs.
Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) tried to contact Juan Contreras, the current manager at MC Multiservicios about the allegations raised and the selling of AmeraCards at the business. HNNUSA wanted to know from Contreras, the actual cost, for what intended purposes are the IDs good for or used for? AmeraCard is provided by AmeraCard Enterprises Inc. from Stamford, Ct. Website at
Numerous attempts to contact Contreras failed. Manta dot com estimated that MC generates at least $500,000 annually for services. The information indicated that Cynthia Garza was the principle person at MC. In Linkedin dot com, Maricela Garza indicated she was the current Administrative Manager at MC, but a receptionist at MC confirmed, she no longer works at MC.
Another business who is also offering secondary IDs to customers is Centro Hispano MG Income Tax at 923 S. Chavez Drive, 2nd floor. The management at MG indicated the $50 dollar ID with the customers information is sent, processed and provided by another company, who they didn't want to identify. But, HNNUSA found that MG takes a photo of the person requiring an ID and offers various versions of AmeraCards. Once ordered, the ID takes about a week for the AmeraCard company to process it and for the actual customer to get it from MG.
Other South side businesses offer similar IDs or AmeraCards to clients, HNNUSA discovered. None of the businesses have explained the purpose of the IDs, which are deemed worthless in Wisconsin, eventhough the IDs can display whatever name of a state the card holder prefers to appear on their IDs face.
The worthless ID business practice is very profitable by luring and taking advantage of people in need of an ID, who otherwise can't prove who they actually are. In early December, State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) had filed an enforcement action against Credenciales USA, LLC and its owner, Hugo I. Loyo (other last name used, Cobos) for the marketing and sale of fake international driver's licenses and state identification cards in Milwaukee County. Loyo Cobos sold IDs and International Driving Permits (IDP) for $200-$400 each, the IDP actually cost $10 for translation in associations that are allowed to legally offer them.
According to the DOJ complaint, Credenciales USA, LLC marketed and sold purported “International Driver's Licenses” and Wisconsin “identification cards” to Milwaukee-area undocumented consumers on Spanish language radio stations in La GranD 104.7 FM, news magazines and newspapers like El Semanario de Milwaukee. Loyo had a weekly one hour show in La GranD located in West Allis. The company marketed the cards as valid forms of identification, which they were not. In addition, neither Credenciales USA, LLC nor Loyo are authorized by the state government to make or sell official identification cards.
“This company engaged in false and misleading practices in Wisconsin," Van Hollen said, “The Wisconsin Department of Justice joins the Federal Trade Commission in warning consumers to be wary of the sale of fraudulent identification cards. Drivers risk losing money and can even face criminal liability, if attempting to present fraudulent identification cards as valid driver's licenses."
The State seeks to have Credenciales USA, LLC and Loyo enjoined from further violations. It also seeks restitution, forfeitures and fines. The case was brought on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection and is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Nelle R. Rohlich.
On Monday, Nfoque Latino a Spanish Speaking talk show at WJTI 1460 AM radio in Milwaukee will also be discussing the worthless IDs being offered in Milwaukee's South side predominately Hispanic community. The program begins at 11 a.m. to noon.

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