Three Colombian migrants have been charged with scamming a woman out of more than $20,000.
Miguel Pena-Gomez, 43, Liliana Nagles-Cuesta, 49, and Angela Posada-Acosta, 45, appeared in First Appearance Court on Nov. 17, where Judge George Ford denied the state’s motion to deny bail for all three defendants.
The three defendants are charged with one count of theft by deception of $5,000 or more from someone over 60 years old, according to a DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office news release.
On Nov. 7, Addison police responded to a call at Caputo’s, 510 W. Lake St., for a report of a theft by deception. After an investigation into the matter, it is alleged that a male subject, later identified as Pena-Gomez, approached the victim and asked her for help claiming that he had a winning lottery ticket worth $6 million and that he needed money to collect the winnings, according to the report.
While the two were speaking, Nagles-Cuesta allegedly approached them and asked if they needed help and that she spoke Spanish. Nagles-Cuesta then allegedly pretended to contact lottery authorities to see how much money was necessary to collect the winnings, which she told the victim was $30,000, according to the release.
When the victim said she did not have $30,000, Nagles-Cuesta offered to get money from her account to help. Nagles-Cuesta left saying she was going to the bank. She allegedly returned a short time later and she, Pena-Gomez and the victim got into the victim’s car and drove to the victim’s bank, according to the release.
Once at the bank, the victim withdrew $20,143 and drove back to Caputo’s. Nagles-Cuesta left the victim and Pena-Gomez and told them she was going back to her bank to withdraw more money.
A short time later, Pena-Gomez allegedly told the victim that he was not feeling well and asked her to go into the store to get him some medicine. The victim allegedly went into the store and left the money in the glove compartment of her car. When she returned, Pena-Gomez had taken the money and fled. Nagles-Cuesta never returned. Posada-Acosta was present during the incident, acting as a lookout, according to the report.
The investigation led authorities to Pena-Gomez, Nagles-Cuesta and Posada-Acosta as suspects. On Nov. 16, the defendants were taken into custody in Crystal Lake without incident.
“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 in the release. “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.”
“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 in the release.
The next court appearance for all three defendants is scheduled for Dec. 11 for arraignment.