Mich. Employee Charged in Fake ID Scam

A state employee was accused of taking part in a scheme to sell hundreds of driver's licenses and other fake identification documents.

Barbara Wilke, a clerk at a secretary of state branch office in Detroit, was named in a federal criminal complaint unsealed last week, along with Ali Hawil, a Guinean citizen; and Daher Al-Mayahi, an Iraqi citizen.

The case is not believed to involve terrorism. But federal authorities have made such cases a priority "because terrorists can use fake IDs to move freely," said Matt Albence, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (search) agent.

Wilke issued many of the improper licenses and accepted money for allowing applicants to skip the mandatory written test, authorities said.

According to the complaint, an undercover Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, posing as an Iraqi arms dealer, spoke with Hawil and was introduced to Al-Mayahi, who boasted he had obtained driver's licenses "a thousand times."

Wilke was been suspended with pay, and licenses issued by her will be reviewed, the secretary of state's office said.