A Lake Forest man who prosecutors called a “long con” man is facing additional charges for allegedly defrauding multiple victims out of more than $500,000 in cash and property.
Ricky A. Dugo, 54, of the 600 block of Wharton Drive in Lake Forest, was charged last March with four counts of felony theft and two counts of felony conspiracy to commit a financial crime.
On Wednesday, a Lake County grand jury charged Dugo with additional charges that included theft, three counts of money laundering and two counts of deceptive practices.
In May, Dugo appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to his initial charges. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for February 8 regarding his new charges.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Berrill said in May that Dugo allegedly convinced his victims to give him money for investments that did not actually exist.
Berrill said Dugo would return to the victims for additional money, stringing them along after the initial investments were given to him.
“Each of the victims in this case fell prey to a long con. These scams had significant negative impacts on their lives,” Berrill said. “Our goal in this case is to seek justice for victims who were truly hurt by these schemes.”
A criminal complaint filed in Lake County Circuit Court alleges that Dugo obtained or exerted unauthorized control over property from a man, which exceeded $500,000 but was under $1 million.
The incident occurred between January 2013 and July 2015 and involved Dugo convincing the victim to pay “advance fees as purported investments that were not actually legitimate,” according to the complaint.
A second victim also reported that Dugo convinced them to pay “advance fees as purported investments that were not actually legitimate.”
That victim lost between $10,000 and $100,000 in cash in March 2018, the complaint said.
Dugo allegedly committed loan fraud with a third victim by instructing the woman to include false income on a loan application in July 2017.
The loan application was to finance the purchase of a 2015 Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a 2017 Harley-Davison motorcycle, which were valued at between $10,000 and $100,000.
The latest indictment in the case containing the new charges alleges Dugo “knowingly obtained by deception” control over cash, vehicles, Rolex watches and furniture, which collectively amounted to between $100,000 and $500,000.
The vehicles included five different motorcycles, which were purchased by the victim in March 2020 under the “false premise” that Dugo would pay the victim back, the indictment said.
Dugo also “deceptively caused” the man to write a check to one of Dugo’s family members in an amount less than $10,000, the indictment said.
The charges were brought against Dugo following an investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.
A blog post dated May 24, 2018, on the site called “The Dirty” said that Dugo stole $10,000 from the blog post author and over $800,000 from many others around the Chicago area and the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.
The blog post explained that Dugo proposed a deal to the victim where any money they put into a television buying scheme would double their money.
The victim said they gave Dugo $10,000, which was all the money they had saved up, and Dugo did not return their money.
Ricky Dugo’s wife, Shannon B. Dugo, was charged with felony perjury in January 2021 for allegedly lying to a grand jury while under oath in December 2019.
Shannon Dugo was found not guilty on the charge during an October trial, court records show.