Authorities say three migrants were arrested in Crystal Lake on Thursday after being wanted for scamming an elderly woman out of over $20,000 in DuPage County.
Miguel Pena-Gomez, 43, Liliana Nagles-Cuesta, 49, and Angela Posada-Acosta, 45, are charged with one count of theft by deception involving a victim over 60, a Class 2 felony.
The Addison Police Department responded to a call on November 7 at Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets, 510 West Lake Street, for a report of a theft.
An investigation showed Pena-Gomez approached the elderly victim and asked her for help, according to the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Pena-Gomez claimed that he had a winning lottery ticket worth $6 million and that he needed money to collect the winnings.
Nagles-Cuesta approached them and asked if they needed help, saying that she speaks Spanish, prosecutors said.
Nagles-Cuesta allegedly pretended to contact lottery authorities to see how much money was necessary to collect the winnings, which she then told the victim was $30,000.
The victim said she did not have $30,000 and Nagles-Cuesta offered to get money from her account to help.
Prosecutors said Nagles-Cuesta left and said she was going to the bank before returning a short time later.
Nagles-Cuesta and Pena-Gomez got into the victim’s car with the victim and drove to the victim’s bank.
The victim withdrew $20,143 and then drove back to Caputo’s, prosecutors said.
Nagles-Cuesta allegedly left the victim and Pena-Gomez and told them she was going back to her bank to withdraw more money.
Pena-Gomez told the victim a short time later that he was not feeling well and asked her to go into the store to get him some medicine, prosecutors said.
The victim went into the store and left the $20,000 in cash in the glove compartment of her car.
Prosecutors said Pena-Gomez took the money and fled. Nagles-Cuesta also never returned.
Posada-Acosta was present during the incident allegedly acting as a lookout.
“It is alleged that these three defendants preyed on an innocent, trusting woman with a good heart, scamming her out of more than $20,000,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said.
“With holiday shopping underway, I fear we may see an increase in this type of con. I urge everyone, please be aware of your surroundings and if approached, do not take people at their word, especially if they are asking you for money,” Berlin said.
Officers arrested Pena-Gomez, Nagles-Cuesta and Posada-Acosta without incident in Crystal Lake on Thursday.
“This is a disturbing case involving a group of con artists and their coordinated efforts to steal from someone simply trying to help them,” Addison Interim Chief of Police Roy Selvik said.
The three suspects, who are Columbian migrants, appeared in court on Friday where DuPage County Judge George Ford denied prosecutors’ request to detain the three pending trial.
They were released and are scheduled to appear in court again on December 11.