Greenbelt, Maryland – Marion Rose Payne, age 55, of Harwood, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce and transfer identification documents without lawful authority, specifically, Maryland driver’s licenses. 

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron and Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore.

According to her plea agreement, from at least July 2015 through March 2016, Payne and Co-Conspirator 2 were both employees of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and worked in the Largo, Maryland branch office.  Payne’s duties at the MVA included the issuance of Maryland driver’s licenses. 

As detailed in her plea agreement, Payne and Co-conspirator 2 conspired with Warner Antonio Portillo to produce and transfer Maryland driver’s licenses without lawful authority.  Specifically, Portillo and others met with prospective Maryland driver’s license applicants who were willing to pay money to obtain a driver’s license illegally, typically because the applicants were aliens without legal status in the United States or were otherwise unable to obtain a lawfully issued driver’s license.  The applicants paid Portillo and others between $800 and $5,000 in cash for each fraudulently issued Maryland driver’s license.

Portillo or the applicants gave Payne and/or Co-Conspirator 2 the names, addresses, and other information that applicants wished to appear on their Maryland driver’s licenses.  Portillo provided the applicants and Payne and/or Co-Conspirator 2 with fraudulent documents necessary to obtain a Maryland driver’s license, including proof of payment of taxes, proof of Maryland residence, and a valid license number from Motor Vehicle Departments in other states, and an identification document.  Portillo and others assisted the applicants to travel to the Largo branch of the MVA and directed the applicants to Payne’s or Co-Conspirator 2’s workstation, where applicants obtained Maryland driver’s licenses produced by Payne or Co-Conspirator 2 without lawful authority.  Payne knew that the documents used in support of the driver’s licenses were fraudulent.

For example, on January 6, 2016, January 12, 2016, and February 11, 2016, Payne and Portillo met in the parking lot of the MVA Largo Branch.  After each meeting, Payne produced six, eight, and seven fraudulent driver’s licenses, respectively.  During the conspiracy, the documents provided to obtain the fraudulent Maryland driver’s licenses included at least four Virginia DMV licenses and a bank statement belonging to real people that were used multiple times during the conspiracy.  The conspiracy resulted in the unlawful production and transfer of at least 276 Maryland driver’s licenses.  In exchange for the improperly issued driver’s licenses, Portillo paid Payne at least $25,000 in cash and gifts.

Payne faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for the conspiracy.  As part of her plea agreement, Payne will also be required to pay a money judgment of at least $25,000, which constitutes assets derived from or obtained by Payne as a result of the conspiracy.  U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang has scheduled sentencing for August 3, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.

Warner Antonio Portillo, age 36, of Manassas, Virginia, previously pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended HSI for its work in the investigation and thanked the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration Investigation and Security Services for its assistance.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly O. Hayes and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Mund, who is prosecuting the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.


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