DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Addison Interim Chief of Police Roy Selvik announced that a trio of Columbian migrants have been charged with scamming a woman out of more than $20,000. Miguel Pena-Gomez, 43 (d.o.b. 10/3/1980), Liliana Nagles-Cuesta, 49 (d.o.b. 7/6/1974) and Angela Posada-Acosta, 45 (d.o.b. 10/17/1978) appeared in First Appearance Court yesterday where Judge George Ford denied the State’s motion to deny bail for all three defendants. All three defendants are charged with one count of Theft by Deception of $5,000 or More From Someone Over Sixty-Years-Old, a Class 2 Felony.
On November 7, 2023, officers with the Addison Police Department responded to a call at Caputo’s located at 510 W. Lake Street, for a report of a theft by deception. Following an investigation into the matter, it is alleged that a male subject, later identified as Pena-Gomez, approached the victim and asked her for help claiming that he had a winning lottery ticket worth $6 million and that he needed money to collect the winnings. It is alleged that while they were speaking, Nagles-Cuesta approached them and asked if they needed help and that she speaks Spanish. Nagles-Cuesta then allegedly pretended to contact lottery authorities to see how much money was necessary to collect the winnings, which she then told the victim was $30,000. It is alleged that when the victim stated she did not have $30,000, Nagles-Cuesta offered to get money from her account to help. It is further alleged that Nagles-Cuesta left saying she was going to the bank. It is alleged that she returned a short time later and that she, Pena-Gomez, and the victim then got into the victim’s car and drove to the victim’s bank. It is alleged that once at the bank, the victim withdrew $20,143 and then drove back to Caputo’s. It is further alleged that Nagles-Cuesta then left the victim and Pena-Gomez and told them she was going back to her bank to withdraw more money. A short time later, Pena-Gomez allegedly told the victim that he was not feeling well and asked her to go into the store to get him some medicine. It is alleged the victim went into the store and left the money in the glove compartment of her car and that when she returned, Pena-Gomez took the money and fled. It is further alleged that Nagles-Cuesta never returned. It is alleged that Posada-Acosta was present during the incident, acting as a lookout. The investigation led authorities to Pena-Gomez, Nagles-Cuesta, and Posada-Acosta as suspects. On November 16, 2023, the defendants were taken into custody in Crystal Lake without incident.
“It is alleged that these three defendants preyed on an innocent, trusting woman with a good heart, scamming her out of more than $20,000,” Berlin said. “With holiday shopping underway, I fear we may see an increase in this type of con. I urge everyone, please be aware of your surroundings and if approached, do not take people at their word, especially if they are asking you for money. I commend the Addison Police Department for their outstanding efforts in this case as well as the Streamwood and Elmhurst Police Departments for their assistance. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Alexandria Levan and Andrew Poncer for their work in securing a strong prosecution against these three defendants.”
“This is a disturbing case involving a group of con artists and their coordinated efforts to steal from someone simply trying to help them,” Selvik said. “We are grateful for the persistent investigative efforts by Addison detectives as well as the Streamwood and Elmhurst Police Departments, and we thank State's Attorney Bob Berlin for not allowing this group to victimize any more good-natured citizens.”
The next court appearance for all three defendants is scheduled for December 11, 2023, for arraignment in front of Judge Mia McPherson.
Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendants’ guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.