Chicago Woman Sought in Alleged Lottery Ticket Scam in Kane County

Chicago Woman Sought in Alleged Lottery Ticket Scam in Kane County

A Kane County judge has issued an arrest warrant for a Chicago woman accused of felony theft for duping someone out of $5,000 in an alleged lottery ticket scheme.

Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon charged 49-year-old Janet Cruz with the offense of theft by deception, Class 2 felony.

Kane County prosecutors allege that on Aug. 8, 2019, Cruz instructed the victim to withdraw $5,000 from the bank and to act as a “witness” for her so Cruz could claim a $2 million lottery prize. Cruz promised the victim $100,000 in return for her help.

According to Batavia police, the incident occurred the morning of Aug. 8. Cruz approached the victim claiming to have a winning lottery ticket that she could not collect because she lacked proper identification. A man who was nearby offered to help.

Cruz then called a telephone number and spoke to someone who claimed to work for the lottery, said the ticket was worth $2 million, that Cruz would need two witnesses to claim the prize if she did not have appropriate identification, and that the witnesses would need to provide $20,000 each.

Cruz offered the victim and the man $100,000 each for their assistance.

They drove to two Batavia banks, where the victim withdrew a total of $5,000, which she gave to Cruz. Cruz then faked an illness and asked the victim to buy medication for her. While the victim was inside a store, Cruz and the man fled. The man is believed to be Cruz’s accomplice.

Kane County Associate Judge Keith Johnson on Sept. 23 issued a warrant for Cruz’s arrest and set her bail at $40,000, with 10 percent ($4,000) to apply for bond.

Cruz also is wanted on two Cook County warrants for similar offenses.

Anyone with information about Cruz should call Batavia police at (630) 454-2500. Cruz is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, 135 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

The charges against Cruz are not proof of guilt. Cruz is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

SOURCE: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office news release