State agency launches investigation into businesses accepting ID - WSMV News 4

State agency launches investigation into businesses accepting IDs

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The Alcoholic Beverage Commission is opening an investigation into the practice of businesses selling alcohol accepting IDs sold from a business in Antioch.

A Channel 4 I-Team investigation exposed how the business, Servicio Internacional, is selling Tennessee IDs to people who have no proof of citizenship.

Our investigation also found a nightclub and a liquor store in Antioch accepted the ID for the sale of alcohol.

Ginna Winfree, assistant director of the ABC, said they are now investigating the acceptance of the IDs as part of a broader investigation.

"We have some ongoing investigations in regards to these types of false IDs. This will become part of our investigation," Winfree said.

For months, the I-Team went undercover at Servicio Internacional, and by working with Spanish-speaking men and women, were able to obtain one of these IDs.

A 22-year-old woman who worked with the I-Team got an ID without having to produce any documentation of her identity.

A man, also working with the I-Team, accompanied the 22-year-old inside, and was only required to sign an affidavit to vouch for her identity and pay $85, and the ID was hers.

The ID is complete with her date of birth, address and photo, along with a hologram across the card. All of the information she provided is false.

Sources familiar with these IDs told the I-Team anyone could get one and make up an identity.

Working with the 22-year-old, we documented how she was able to purchase alcohol at a liquor store and get into a nightclub and be served.

Again, she didn't have to prove anything to the ID makers to show she was older than 21.

The ID is similar to the old state ID, but instead of the words “drivers license” in a great stripe, it reads “non-government ID.”

Still, the 22-year-old was able to get alcohol in two different locations.

The I-Team asked the ABC if they consider the ID a fake ID.

“This is a fake ID. Because anybody could make that," Winfree said.

Now, the businesses that sold the 22-year-old the alcohol could be in trouble with the state.

"Based on this, they're (the businesses) definitely committing a crime," Winfree said. "Absolutely there's a concern. Obviously, people are accepting them without any question."

Winfree said liquor stores are required to only accept government IDs. The state advises nightclubs should ask for IDs to prove who they're serving is old enough to drink.

"We have some ongoing investigations in regards to these types of false IDs. This will become part of our investigation," Winfree said.

Sabrina Jacal, the owner of Servicio Internacional, said she doesn't have to have state approval to make the IDs.

"I'm not authorized to do anything. It's not an authorization that needs to be given," Jacal said.

Jacal said she's not selling fake IDs, but instead IDs that also serve as membership cards for translation services.

At the bottom of the ID, small writing states that it is a membership ID.

The businesses fliers and websites clearly ask customers if they need identification.

"Do you think businesses think this is a legit ID?” asked chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley.

“They shouldn't,” Jacal said.

“They shouldn't?” Finley asked.

"I don't know why they would,” Jacal said.

"It looks like it's sold online as an ID. It doesn't appear to be sold as a membership card," Finley said.

"Um, on the back... it is what it is. It's a non-governmental ID,” Jacal said.

When we told her that we'd sent in someone who got one of the IDs and made up everything on it, and then used it to buy alcohol, she said the businesses should have known better.

She has no intention of stopping the sale of the IDs.

"I'm only going as far as I'm afforded. I can't go any further. I can't change the law. I can't get them a driver's license," Jacal said.

We also asked the secretary of state's office if someone could vote using that ID, and a spokesman said only government-issued IDs can be used to vote.

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