(Lake County, IL) Today, Friday, February 3, 2023 a bench trial concluded with a guilty verdict on one count of theft by deception, a class 2 felony, for stealing $18,700.
Ricky Dugo, age 55, was first charged in April 2021, after three victims filed criminal complaints to local authorities. The Special Investigations Division of the Lake County State Attorney’s Office assisted prosecutors who approved theft and conspiracy charges. Dugo was indicted on those charges in May 2021, and again indicted in January 2022, on separate charges of theft, money laundering, and deceptive practices, relating to an additional victim.
The initial charges were severed into three separate cases, in addition to the subsequently charged case. Dugo now has three remaining cases in Lake County that are pending dates for trial.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart stated after the verdict, “This is a good day for the victims of this offender’s long-running scams. Our Special Investigations Division did an excellent job supporting our prosecutors – together, they are starting the process of securing justice for these good people who lost money to this scammer and con artist.”
Dugo’s bench trial, which was argued in front of the Honorable David C. Lombardo, lasted three days. Judge Lombardo heard from five State witnesses, including other victims whom Dugo deceived and from whom he took money.
theft by deception
Prosecutors argued the testimony of the witnesses and victim demonstrated how Dugo choreographed a well thought out scheme to take others’ money over the years and never planned on paying the victim back on this specific case.
The defense team had no witnesses and Dugo made the choice not to testify.
Dugo was released on bond in April 2021, after posting $7,500 cash, 10% of his $75,000 bond. Judge Lombardo revoked Dugo’s bond after Dugo was convicted. A pre-sentence investigation will be conducted, and a sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 17, at 1:30 p.m.
Theft by Deception has a sentencing range of three to seven years and is a probationable offense.
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