Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart on Friday announced misdemeanor citations for 40 purchasers of fake IDs shipped from China.
The charges follow a months-long investigation into counterfeit driver’s licenses purchased online from China, Dart said during a Friday news conference.
More than 1,700 fake licenses have been intercepted locally this year. The licenses apparently were being ordered online from China and arrived in packages of anywhere from two IDs to 48.
Those charged are between 17 and 20 years old and live in the northwest suburbs, Dart said. Some attend a local high school, though most are in college.
They could have faced felony charges, but the sheriff's office chose to intercept the IDs and give misdemeanor citations, which come with 25 hours of community service and fines.
Dart on Friday warned other young adults thinking of ordering IDs that exposing their personal information "is sort of a financial manipulator's dream come true."
It can easily lead to identity theft, he said.