Chicago woman accused of taking money from Batavia resident in lottery ticket scheme

Chicago Tribune 1 month ago

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Chicago woman who is accused of duping a Batavia resident out of $5,000 in an alleged lottery ticket scheme.

Janet Cruz, 49, has been charged with theft by deception, Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office officials said in a news release.

Prosecutors allege that on Aug. 8, Cruz instructed the Batavia resident 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 is accused of promising the victim $100,000 in return for her help, officials said. Cruz approached the Batavia resident claiming to have a winning lottery ticket that she could not collect because she lacked proper identification.

According to Batavia police, a man who was nearby, who is believed to be Cruz’s accomplice, offered to help. Cruz called a telephone number and spoke to someone who claimed to work for the lottery and said the ticket was worth $2 million and she needed two witnesses to claim the prize if she did not have proper identification.

The woman claimed the witnesses would need to provide $20,000 each.

Cruz offered the Batavia resident and the man $100,000 each for their assistance. They drove to two Batavia banks, where the Batavia resident withdrew a total of $5,000 and gave it to Cruz, officials said.

Cruz then faked an illness and asked the resident to buy medication for her, prosecutors said. While the resident was inside a store, Cruz and the man fled, according to prosecutors.

Cruz, of the 3200 block of West Lawrence Avenue in Chicago, is also wanted on two Cook County warrants for similar offenses, officials said.

According to officials, anyone with information about Cruz should call Batavia police at 630-454-2500.

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