Because Ald. Proco Moreno’s Audi A6 was stolen, his insurance company was set to pay him more than $30,000 to cover his loss, until the Chicago Police Department said the vehicle had not actually been stolen.
Now the 1st Ward alderman has been arrested and charged with insurance fraud, obstruction of justice and filing a false report of stolen vehicle.
Moreno has also been charged with disorderly conduct, the Chicago Tribune reported. He faces up to seven years in an Illinois prison if convicted on all the charges.
Prosecutors say the alderman loaned his luxury car to a friend and then gave false accounts to the police and his insurer about the vehicle.
The judge at his bond hearing ordered 47-year-old Moreno released on his own recognizance, adding that it appeared the alderman had had a “terrible lapse in judgment.”
Moreno has been “a perfect member of society,” his attorney told the court, noting that he’s been representing his constituents as “a civic and public gladiator.”
The trouble for Moreno began, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas Simpson, when he lent his car to his girlfriend. The next day, he called police to report that his vehicle had been stolen, adding that he last saw it parked in front of his Wicker Park home.
An hour later, he dialed his insurance company, telling them the car had been taken from his garage, and adding that it was possible that he left the keys in the car and the garage door unlocked.
Several weeks later, Moreno’s girlfriend was pulled over while driving the Audi. Officers said she was surprised when told the car was stolen. She offered to show police the text messages between her and Moreno about the vehicle.
She was then arrested for criminal trespass. While that charge was eventually dropped, police opened an investigation into Moreno – an investigation that culminated in his arrest for insurance fraud.
Those facing similar white collar charges can contact a Chicago criminal defense attorney experienced in these matters.