While charges of fraud are not exactly rare when it comes to political candidates, Chicago Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno stands accused of filing a false police report to defraud his insurance company. This is generally not the kind of fraud charges that politicians face. Nonetheless, it is still illegal.
Authorities have charged Moreno with fraud and obstruction of justice after reporting his Audi A6 stolen. After Moreno had reported the car stolen, his girlfriend, Liliya Hrabar was pulled over by police while driving it. Hrabar herself was charged with criminal trespass. During the interrogation, Hrabar produced text messages indicating that Moreno had willingly lent her the car one day prior to filing the police report. The charges against Hrabar were subsequently dropped and Moreno was charged with filing a false police report, obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct, and insurance fraud.
According to police, Moreno attempted to file a $30,000 claim with his insurance company to replace the car. The police contacted the insurance company and found that he had given differing accounts of the theft. After Hrabar was caught, Moreno claimed that he had loaned the vehicle to her but could not get it back. Moreno then claimed that because she was a single mom, he just wanted to help her out and that the road to Hell is often paved with good intentions. For that reason, he reported it stolen.
Wow, That is Stupid
While Chicago has become used to Alderman being charged with misusing their clout to funnel money into their coffers, corruption and conspiracy charges, and outright criminal activity, Chicago is not used to Alderman committing penny-ante insurance fraud to score a $30,000 check from their insurance company.
However, Moreno is a colorful character. He was investigated prior for impersonating a police officer after a petty parking dispute “erupted” in his Lakeview neighborhood. According to a motorist, Moreno showed his city council badge and directed them to move their vehicle from a bike lane. Moreno was never charged with a crime because he never identified himself as a police officer nor did he show the motorist a police officer’s badge. He did, however, lead the motorist to believe he was a police officer.
Moreno can Face a Sentence of Seven Years
God only knows why Moreno attempted to deceive his insurance carrier with such a ham-handed scheme, but he now faces serious charges that could come with a possible seven-year prison sentence. While it is unlikely that Moreno will serve all seven years, most people are baffled as to why he thought this would ever possibly work. As an attorney, you wonder if a diminished capacity defense might be appropriate here. A lawyer might be inclined to argue that since the scheme was so foolhardy and had no chance of success, that his client was not in his right mind during the commission of the crime. With this guy, why not?
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Are you being accused of a crime in Chicago? Criminal defense attorney David Freidberg, Attorney at Law can help get those charges reduced or dismissed. Call our office today at (312) 560-7100 to schedule an appointment.