Illinois woman wanted for alleged lottery ticket scheme

KANE COUNTY, Ill. (WREX) — A Kane County judge has issued an arrest warrant for a Chicago woman for tricking someone out of $5,000 in an alleged lottery ticket scheme.

Janet Cruz, 49, has been charged with theft by deception, a class two 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.

Police say Cruz then called a number and spoke to someone who claimed to be from the lottery who said the ticket was worth $2M and Cruz would need two witnesses to claim the prize and 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.

Police say 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 left. 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.

Andrew Carrigan

Andrew Carrigan

Assignment Editor

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