California Man and Fremont Man Sentenced in Conspiracy to Produce and Transfer Fraudulent Documents
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nebraska
Acting United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that Luis Alberto Castro-Santos, 35, of Pomona, California, and Tomas De La Cruz-Perez, 37, of Fremont, Nebraska, were sentenced today in federal court in Omaha for Conspiracy to Produce and Transfer Fraudulent Documents. Chief United States District Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. sentenced Castro-Santos and De La Cruz to imprisonment for terms of 24 months and 15 months, respectively. Prior to sentencing, De La Cruz-Perez had forfeited $9,170.00 as proceeds of the fraudulent document scheme. There is no parole in the federal system. After their release from prison, each will begin a 3-year term of supervised release. Both will be deported by U.S. immigration authorities after completing their respective sentences to imprisonment.
In the spring of 2020, law enforcement officers investigating an identity theft matter involving the use of a deceased person’s Social Security number learned that fraudulent identity documents could be obtained from De La Cruz-Perez.
Over the course of the year, investigators made several purchases of fraudulent documents (Social Security cards, state Driver’s Licenses, and Lawful Permanent Resident cards (I-551s) from De La Cruz-Perez, who was receiving dozens of packages originating in California through the U.S. Mail. Investigators determined that Castro-Santos was the source of the fraudulent documents mailed to De La Cruz-Perez for sale to customers in Nebraska. Investigators determined that Estuardo Ruiz-Orozco, of Wakefield, Nebraska, was also selling fraudulent documents obtained from Castro-Santos in California. Ruiz-Orozco was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 24 months on May 12, 2022. The remaining defendant in the case, Martin Alonzo Castro, is scheduled to be sentenced on January 6, 2023.
Investigators planned and executed coordinated arrests of the defendants on April 14, 2021. Investigators obtained warrants to search the Nebraska defendants’ residences and cars, yielding hundreds of counterfeit federal and state identity cards.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, and the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles.
Michael Norris, Criminal Chief, (402) 661-3700
Updated October 31, 2022