Florida Man, Elvin Lugo-Cales Sentenced to Prison After Traveling to Edwardsville to Cash Counterfeit Checks Using Stolen Identities
BENTON, IL (STL.News) Elvin Lugo-Cales, 47, of Orlando, Florida, was sentenced today to 51 months in
federal prison and 3 years of court supervision after his release. In January, Lugo-Cales pled
guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, use of a false passport, and aggravated identity theft.
On March 2, 2020, Lugo-Cales and his co-defendant, Johnny Collado, flew from New York to St. Louis
for the sole purpose of defrauding banks using stolen identities. They were paid members of a
criminal organization based in New York. Collado was the driver and coordinated the scheme through
text messages with a co-conspirator in New York. Lugo-Cales was known in the scheme as a “soldier”
– a person willing to travel to a new city, walk into banks, and conduct fraudulent transactions
face- to-face with bank tellers using fake IDs and counterfeit checks.
On March 5, 2020, Collado drove Lugo-Cales in a rental car to a US Bank location in Edwardsville,
Illinois. Lugo-Cales went inside the bank while Collado waited in the car.