Status hearing set for man accused of making false drivers licenses
A Cape Coral man accused of producing and distributing fake driver’s licenses for more than two years has a status hearing in federal court Monday.
Brandon T. Albanito, 24, of 801 W. Cape Estates, is facing four counts each of unlawful production of false identification documents and unlawful transfer of false identification documents. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, said U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Steve Cole.
Albanito is also charged with one count of using a fictitious name to conduct unlawful business by means of the postal service — a maximum sentence of five years — and two counts each of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from a specified unlawful activity, which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison per count.
On Monday, Albanito will go before U.S. District Judge John E. Steele. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Michelland is prosecuting the case against Assistant Federal Public Defender Frank Zaremba. Albanito is being held without bail, according to Cole. A trial date is scheduled for Sept. 7.
Court documents state that Albanito unlawfully produced and transferred fake driver’s licenses between March 2008 and about July 2010 by using an assumed name and address. He allegedly created Wisconsin, Arizona, Indiana, North Dakota and California licenses, then distributed the false identifications.
In August 2009, Albanito reportedly wired $83,020 to Straight Line Automotive Group in Dallas, Texas, for the purchase of a 2003 Ferrari vehicle. In October 2009, he allegedly purchased his home on West Cape Estates for $317,500. Both purchases were “derived from a specified unlawful activity” — fake licenses — according to the documents.
Albanito was arrested and charged July 29 at his home, Cole reported. Authorities seized $870,000 in cash, a firearm, steroids and illegal drugs, including Ecstasy, mushrooms and marijuana.
Officials could not comment Thursday on whether he could face more charges from local authorities.