Law and Order, State Crime Reports

Berwyn Man Charged with Impersonating Illinois Secretary of State Employee and Allegedly Stealing Thousands of Dollars

Hugo Torres
Hugo Torres (Source: CPB Chicago)
Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—May 21, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser

Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that Hugo Torres, 44, of Berwyn was arrested and charged with allegedly:

  • Posing as an employee of the Illinois Secretary of State’s office,
  • Offering government jobs and other favors for cash advance payments, and
  • Defrauding seven Cook County residents of at least $5,000.

Attorney General Madigan said, “This brazen fraud stripped people of money and highly personal information. I appreciate the assistance of the Secretary of State’s office in bringing Mr. Torres to justice.”

Secretary of State Jesse White added, “I applaud Attorney General Lisa Madigan for bringing charges against this man and the Secretary of State Police for their work on the case. It’s offensive that anyone would impersonate a Secretary of State supervisor to scam members of the public out of their hard-earned money. I urge the public to call the Secretary of State police if confronted by anyone offering jobs, driver’s licenses or any other state services outside of our Driver Services facilities. If you see something suspicious, please report such incidents to Illinois Secretary of State Police at 630-693-0551 or contact the Office of the Inspector General at 217-785-2012.”

Madigan alleged there were at least seven victims of Torres’ scheme who shared similar stories of being approached by the defendant at various gas stations in Chicago. He identified himself as “Jose Lopez” and claimed to be a supervisor with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office looking to hire maintenance workers. Torres typically charged $150 in cash for fake application fees for a job exam. In some instances, Torres also falsely claimed he could hire people’s family members, provide assistance to obtain driver’s licenses and help resolve traffic tickets in exchange for cash.

Torres is being held at the Cook County jail. He is currently on probation in Will County after pleading guilty to Class 3 theft on September 8, 2016, for engaging in similar schemes. Madigan alleged Torres continued his schemes in Cook County after his plea in Will County.