Madison Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy, Wire Fraud, and Identity Theft in Multi-State Auto Theft Scheme
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on March 15, 2013, Gordon D. Caldwell, 46, of Madison, Illinois, pled guilty in federal court to Conspiracy to Possess and Pass Counterfeit Securities, Wire Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft, as charged in three-count information. Caldwell faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for Aggravated Identity Theft and could be sentenced up to 27 years of imprisonment. Caldwell also faces a fine of up to $500,000.00, a period of supervised release of up to three years and the payment of a $300.00 special assessment. Caldwell will also be required to pay approximately $100,000.00 in restitution when he is sentenced on June 21, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois.
“The significance of this prosecution rests not only with the conviction of Caldwell, who had crossed state lines and police jurisdictions to defraud citizens in eight counties in two states, but also with the outstanding team work that included multiple law enforcement and prosecutors’ offices from Illinois and Missouri working together to reach this result,” said United States Attorney Wigginton. “With federal and state agencies working together, the focus will not be on where you do the crime, instead, the focus is going to be where you’re going to do the time.”
During his plea, Caldwell admitted that from April of 2011 to August of 2012 he had schemed and conspired with others to use counterfeit cashier’s checks of financial institutions to defraud individuals in both Illinois and Missouri who had listed their vehicles for sale in various media sources. Caldwell admitted that he would go to the seller’s house or location the vehicle was held for sale, and while using false identification, he would give the counterfeit cashier’s check to the seller. Caldwell also admitted that on two occasions, he used the fraudulently obtained vehicle titles to take out vehicle loans.
The investigation was conducted by the Metro East Auto Theft Task Force with the assistance of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office; the Granite City, Madison, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Effingham, Decatur and South Roxana Police Departments in Illinois; the Jefferson, and Boone County Sheriff’s Offices; the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department and the St. Peters, St. Louis County and Arnold Police Departments in Missouri. Assistance was also given by the state’s attorneys’ offices in Madison, Macon, Effingham and Morgan Counties in Illinois, as well as prosecutors in Jefferson, St. Charles, St. Louis, and Boone Counties in Missouri. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley R. Killian.