Woman pretends to be a gang member and corrupt cop to scam man out of $1.6M, feds say

An Illinois woman took on many fake personas to trick a man in his 70s out of more than $1.6 million, according to federal authorities.

Over the span of three years, officials said the woman pretended to be gang members, corrupt cops, other criminals, prosecutors and journalists.

Now, the 40-year-old woman from Joliet has pleaded guilty to “using a facility of interstate commerce to promote and carry on unlawful activity, namely theft and intimidation,” according to a May 22 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

In her signed plea agreement, the woman admitted she threatened the man and lied to him over the phone from about February 2018 to June 2021.

In one example, she said she threatened to kill him and his family and burn down his home, according to the plea agreement.

In another example, authorities said she sent the man with limited vision a series of messages that told him he had to pay $30,000 to stop cops from raiding his and his daughter’s homes.

She received dozens of payments worth a combined total of $1,611,975, authorities said.

The woman faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Joliet is about 45 miles southwest of Chicago.

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