Man impersonated Illinois state employee, offered fake jobs: prosecutors

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The Leighton criminal courthouse at 26th and California where Judge Mauricio Araujo was assigned until last year when he was accused of sexual harassment. | Sun-Times file photo.

A man has been charged with posing as a state employee and scamming Cook County residents of their money by promising phony government jobs.

Hugo Torres, 44, of Berwyn, used gas stations as the setting to approach at least seven different people and claim he was a supervisor with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, according to Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office.

“This brazen fraud stripped people of money and highly personal information,” Madigan said.

Torres identified himself by a false name and said his office was seeking to hire maintenance workers, the attorney general’s office said. He charged $150 in cash for fake job application fees and job exams.

He sometimes said he would hire people’s family members in exchange for cash, prosecutors said. Torres also falsely promised to help people obtain driver’s licenses and help resolve traffic tickets.

“It’s offensive that anyone would impersonate a Secretary of State supervisor to scam members of the public out of their hard-earned money,” Secretary of State Jesse White said. “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.”

Torres was on probation in Will County after pleading guilty in 2016 for similar scams, the attorney general’s office said. He was being held at the Cook County Jail.

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