Jonesboro Company Faces Suit From Attorney General

JONESBORO, AR -- A Jonesboro company is facing a suit from the Arkansas Attorney General's office.  International Automovil Association Inc. is accused of making what Attorney General Dustin McDaniel calls "fake driver's licenses".

A 29 page lawsuit filed by McDaniel lays out the allegations against the company.  McDaniel said his office believes the company has been making these "fake driver's licenses" for people primarily in the Latino community.

"Originally it was brought to our attention by a flyer that was in Northwest Arkansas encouraging people to contact this business in Jonesboro to get their international drivers licenses," said McDaniel.

The Attorney General's office has been investigating this case for over a year.

"We actually had one of the investigators go through the process of obtaining two or three of these," said McDaniel, "It's got a hologram on it and official looking seals but this is utterly fake.  We sent them a fake name, a fake date of birth, a photograph, and $140 and this is what we got back in the mail."

The defendant's listed in the case are Benjamin Sanchez, Oscar Sanchez, and Rita Soto, along with the business International Automovil Association Incorporated.

We tried to contact them on Thursday afternoon.  When we stopped by the business we were told to come back in about an hour, when we returned, the doors were locked up tight with no one in sight.

"They've assured us that anything they were doing that was inappropriate, they would stop doing it or they would try to find ways to comply with the law, but that simply hasn't been the case," said McDaniel.

McDaniel told K8 News his main concern is that people are being taken advantage of and don't realize that they're buying something that's not real.

"I think they are definitely deceiving people who are here lawfully and want to obtain a drivers license and don't know what to do," said McDaniel.

Gina Gomez, Executive Director of Hispanic Community Services in Jonesboro, says it's disappointing to hear about things like this.

"When they get here they don't understand what that document is that they are buying and that it won't be valid," said Gomez.

McDaniel says the company is charging $140 for each I.D. they make and for around $15 you can get the authorized International Driving Permit.  In addition to taking advantage of legal immigrants he also said this could be seen as an only option for illegal immigrants.

"I think they are also taking advantage of the fact that there are people here unlawfully who want I.D. documents and are willing to pay top dollar for them," said McDaniel.