A Turlock couple is bound for a pair of Nevada jail cells after being convicted of running a counterfeit money-making scheme out of a casino hotel room.
Steve Jose Gil, 33 of Turlock pled guilty earlier this year to one count of establishing or possessing a financial forgery laboratory, according to the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office. Gill was sentenced June 17 in Washoe County District Court to a 15 year prison term for the crime.
Gil’s co-defendant, Julie Tovar, 31 of Turlock, also pled guilty in the case to charges of burglary and conspiracy to possess a financial forgery laboratory. She is due to be sentenced today and faces from one to 10 years in prison, according to the district attorney’s office.
The investigation into this case began in December, 2014 when the Reno Police Department responded to the Atlantis Casino on a report of an attempt to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. The police department’s investigation of the phony money led back to Gil and Tovar. Investigators arrested Gil and Tovar to a room at the Atlantis. In the room authorities found an entire lab set up for the manufacturing of counterfeit money and other documents, including blank check stock, fraudulent credit cards, a counterfeit $100 bill, a magnetic credit card reader, and credit card embosser stock.
Police also discovered Gil had used the names and identifying information of others to secure the Atlantis room and two others at Harrah’s and the Silver Legacy.
The couple’s Nevada arrest and conviction is not their first foray into the criminal justice system. A review of court records reveal Gil has prior convictions for forgery, possession of a controlled substance, petty theft, spousal battery, counterfeiting, and using someone else’s identification to obtain credit, among others.
Tovar has prior convictions for forgery, counterfeiting, petty theft, burglary, and driving under the influence.
Both Tovar and Gil have an open case in Stanislaus County for an incident in February 2015. They are each facing two felony charges of burglary and one felony charge of obtaining credit cards with a false identification.
During sentencing, the presiding Washoe County judge categorized the crimes Gil committed as sophisticated and planned, according to the district attorney’s office.
Gil will be eligible for parole in four years.