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Press Release

Vallejo Woman Sentenced to over 7 Years in Prison for Scheme to Buy Multiple Vehicles Using Stolen Identities

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Simone Aguilar, 45, of Vallejo, was sentenced today to seven years and three months in prison by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. for a scheme to buy multiple vehicles using stolen identities, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

On October 7, 2016, Aguilar pleaded guilty to possession of device-making equipment and aggravated identity theft. On September 1, 2015, co-defendant Gurpinder Sandhu, 49, formerly of Vallejo, pleaded guilty; on March 4, 2016, he was sentenced to nine years in prison.

According to court documents, in September 2014 law enforcement agents began investigating reports of numerous vehicles being fraudulently purchased with stolen identities from car dealerships throughout the Northern and Eastern Districts of California. The investigation led to the residence of Aguilar and Sandhu, where law enforcement found three of the fraudulently obtained vehicles: a 2014 Nissan Rogue, a 2014 Dodge Challenger, and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Inside the residence, law enforcement agents found many counterfeit items, including credit cards and California driver’s licenses. Law enforcement agents also found device-making equipment to manufacture these counterfeit items. This equipment included an embossing machine, cameras, printers, scanners, materials and chemicals used to produce identification cards, state seals, and a blue backdrop on the wall to imitate a California Department of Motor Vehicles background for photo IDs. Agents also found documents containing the names of real people, such as rental agreements, Comcast bills and sales receipts.

Based on the fraudulent documents found in the apartment, law enforcement agents identified at least 50 victims of identity theft. Aguilar and Sandhu used these identities to fraudulently purchase vehicles from car dealerships and retail goods from commercial stores such as Macy’s.

Aguilar and Sandhu succeeded in getting at least seven vehicles in this manner. In addition to the three vehicles named above, Sandhu fraudulently obtained a 2013 Yamaha motorcycle, a 2010 Chevrolet Corvette, a 2013 Dodge Challenger and a 2013 Dodge Charger.

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Segal prosecuted the case.

Updated November 17, 2017

Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 2:15-cr-041 JAM