Chicago Woman Wanted For Alleged Lottery Scam

Bernie Tafoya
September 24, 2019 - 1:25 pm
Police Department

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Chicago woman is wanted for allegedly carrying out a lottery scam that duped a victim out of thousands of dollars. 

Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon issued the arrest warrant and charged 49-year-old Janet Cruz with the offense of theft by deception, a class 2 felony.

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

Cruz then called a telephone number and spoke to someone who claimed to work for the lottery, who said the ticket was worth $2 million and 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, police said.

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

Batavia police said the three drove to two Batavia banks, where the victim withdrew a total of $5,000.

Once the woman gave Cruz the money, Cruz 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, police said.

Kane County Associate Judge Keith Johnson issued a warrant Monday for Cruz’s arrest and set her bail at $40,000.

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 described as 5-feet 5-inches tall, 135 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.