MVA linked to phony licenses Administrator calls ID system "reasonable."

February 27, 1992|By Roger Twigg | Roger Twigg,Staff Writer

Last April, the FBI subpoenaed Carolyn A. Armwood and questioned her about $129,000 that had been fraudulently obtained from two banks by someone using a bogus driver's license with her name on it.

"I was shocked. They treated me just like anyone who might have been involved in the crime. I was photographed, fingerprinted and given a handwriting analysis test," said Mrs. Armwood, a federal government employee.

The FBI cleared her after it determined the banks had been defrauded by a woman who provided a bogus driver's license bearing Mrs. Armwood's name and address.

The identification had been obtained from an old license that Mrs. Armwood had relinquished to the Motor Vehicle Administration several months after she married.

Five people were arrested in the bank scam, and at least four had fraudulent driver's licenses, said FBI spokesman Andrew S. Manning. The license one of the suspects used carried a picture of the suspect and the suspect's physical data.

"It seems like it would have taken someone who works there [at the MVA] to do this," Mrs. Armwood said.

An MVA employee was suspended after investigators linked her to Dontay Carter, an accused killer who obtained two fraudulent licenses. After stories about Carter, several more people reported they had been victimized by crooks who fraudulently obtained driver's licenses and MVA-issued identification cards.

W. Marshall Rickert, the MVA's administrator, said officials are continuing to investigate how Carter obtained fraudulent licenses.

Mr. Rickert maintains that the issuance of false licenses and identification cards is not widespread. "We don't issue these documents casually," he said. "They required two to three forms of identification. I think the system is reasonable and comprehensive. . . . It is the best until technology becomes available . . . for tightening up the system."

In several of the instances reported to The Sun, bogus driver's licenses and identification cards have been obtained from MVA offices at Mondawmin and Glen Burnie. They were issued even though the race and other physical characteristics of the applicants did not match information in the MVA computer.

In one instance, the person who got the duplicate drained a Pikesville man's bank accounts of $11,000. The bank reimbursed the victim.

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