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Illinois man charged in check passing scam

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Darryl Enriquez
October 5, 2010
— An Illinois man wanted in several states for passing bad cashier's checks was accused here Monday of theft, fraud and attempted fraud against financial institutions in Delavan and a business in Elkhorn.

Eric R. Castronovo, 33, with a last known address in Cherry Valley, Ill., is charged with using a phony cashier's check to pay more than $13,000 for two all-terrain vehicles at Cycles Plus in Elkhorn in October 2009.


During his scams, Castronovo used the name Hugo Lopez, according to a Walworth County criminal complaint.


According to reports from other news outlets, Castronovo is wanted in several states including Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia, California, Oregon, Arizona and Iowa.


He eluded police in a Midwestern town early this year by jumping from the third floor of an apartment complex and fleeing into nearby woods, according to one report.


The complaint also accuses Castronovo of depositing a fraudulent $3,797 check at Associated Bank in Delavan in September and a $9,300 check at Guaranty Bank in Delavan. Both checks were deposited in September 2009.


He also is accused of trying to pass phony checks at Lake Geneva Guaranty Bank last October.


Castronovo was identified through surveillance photos and fingerprints on the checks, according to the complaint.


Castronovo was arrested in Illinois in late October 2009, but officials didn't immediately know what happened to him after that or how he was brought to Walworth County for charges.



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