Investigation of fake IDs nets $4.7M in bitcoins, gold bars

(AP Images)

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Authorities investigating a large-scale fake ID operation in Ohio say they’ve seized $4.7 million in bitcoins and several computers and printers.

Court documents say they also found gold and silver bars and coins inside the Toledo home of Mark Simon.

Simon was charged Thursday in U.S. District Court with making and transferring false identification documents. A message left with Simon’s court-appointed attorney hasn’t been returned.

Ohio authorities began investigating in 2015 after receiving several fake ID cards from a bar in Springfield.

An affidavit in federal court says a college student told investigators his friends bought IDs from the online social forum Reddit.

Documents say buyers had to follow instructions to hide the transactions and use bitcoins, digital money that isn’t tied to banks or governments.

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