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Feds charge Sugar Land man in scheme involving 700,000 fake paper license plates

Daniel Rocky Christine-Tani, 33, is the latest suspect charged with conspiracy and wire fraud in the elaborate scheme that included fake car dealerships.

SUGAR LAND, Texas — A Sugar Land man has been charged in an elaborate scheme that included hundreds of thousands of fake paper license plates.

Daniel Rocky Christine-Tani, 33, is the latest suspect accused of creating fake car dealerships to issue more than 700,000 illegal paper tags, according to U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery.

Editor's note: The video above originally aired on April 26.

Christine-Tani -- aka Daniel Rocky Christine-Tahi, Rocky Keys and Daniel Christine -- was arrested on Wednesday. 

A federal grand jury in Houston indicted him on multiple counts of conspiracy and wire fraud. 

The same indictment added additional charges against fugitive Emmanuel Padilla Reyes, 32, aka Christian Hernandez Bonilla or Noel Rivera. His last known address was in Houston. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI at 713-693-5000.

Alleged co-conspirators Leidy Areli Hernandez Lopez, 40, Houston, and Octavian Ocasio, 50, New York, were previously charged and arrested in the same scheme.

The indictment alleges all four participated in a scheme involving the use of phony car dealerships to issue and sell hundreds of thousands of Texas temporary buyer tags without selling cars. They also allegedly used email accounts and text messaging to communicate and deliver the fraudulent tags to purchasers throughout the United States. The four received and shared proceeds from the fraudulent sale of Texas buyer tags, according to the charges.

The feds say they sold they advertised the fake tags on Facebook and Instagram.

According to the charges, the illegal tags pose a danger to the public and law enforcement because purchasers use them to avoid obtaining registration, safety inspections and liability insurance. They can also allegedly be used to hide identities from law enforcement.

If convicted, each faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

The FBI conducted the investigation with assistance from Travis County Precinct 3 Constables Office, Houston Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, sheriff’s offices in Harris and Ft. Bend Counties, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, New York State Police and New York City Police Department.

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