Attorney general sues identification card maker

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel filed a consumer-protection lawsuit today against the makers of identification cards that are advertised as being “legally issued” or “required by law” even though there is nothing official about the cards.

McDaniel said Connecticut-based AmeraCard Enterprises Inc. and its owner, Joseph Cassara of Stamford, Conn., produce and sell ID cards that are designed to resemble state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards, except that the IDs produced by the defendants have no official function or legal significance. Some Arkansas consumers paid $70 apiece for the bogus ID cards that offer no real value to consumers. The cards are not acceptable as government identification, and many private companies will not accept the cards as proof of identity.

“These cards are advertised as being acceptable as secondary identification and in some instances, even as a primary ID. Those claims and the other claims used by the company to urge Arkansas vendors to sell these IDs are patently false,” McDaniel said. “These bogus ID cards are a waste of money for consumers.”

Vendors in Arkansas who sell the cards on behalf of AmeraCard have sold approximately 1,200 in the state since 2009. AmeraCard touts its product as an “Arkansas Identification Card.” It is the same size as a driver’s license and it includes an expiration date, signature line and demographic data similar to what appears on an official driver’s license.
The lawsuit claims that a fine-print disclaimer on the back of the card is not enough to keep a consumer from believing it to be an actual ID based on the defendants' representation that the card may be used as a “secondary form of identification, and in many occasions, as a primary form of identification.” The lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court alleges that the defendants violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

McDaniel seeks an injunction prohibiting defendants from engaging in deceptive marketing practices, restitution to affected consumers, civil penalties, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

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January 17, 2018, 9:45 pm
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