Ald. Joe Moreno Charged With Fraud, Obstruction of Justice

Moreno, who represents the city's 1st Ward, was arrested Tuesday night, according to police

Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno has been charged with fraud and obstruction of justice, Chicago police said Wednesday.

Moreno was charged with one count of insurance fraud of between $10,000 and $100,000, according to CPD spokesman Tom Ahern, and one count of obstruction of justice/destroying evidence - both felonies.

A judge set a $10,000 I-bond for Moreno Monday afternoon, ordering him to have no contact with his ex-girlfriend. His next court date is set for June 4. 

Moreno, who represents the city's 1st Ward, was arrested Tuesday night, according to police, in connection to a police report he filed on Jan. 4 in which he claimed that his vehicle had been stolen.

After he reported it stolen, police pulled over a woman driving the car, but she told them she and Moreno dated and he let her drive it. She was initially charged with trespass to a motor vehicle, but that charge was dismissed.

Chicago police then opened an investigation into whether Moreno, appointed in 2010, filed a false police report in the case. 

According to a proffer read in court Wednesday, prosecutors said Moreno allowed his ex-girlfriend to use his vehicle and after reporting his vehicle as stolen, called the woman to discuss meeting up for dinner. 

Less than an hour after he reported the vehicle stolen, prosecutors said Moreno called his insurance carrier to say that it had been taken from his garage. 

It wasn't until Feb. 4 that police pulled over a woman driving Moreno's Audi. The woman was in possession of the keys and provided them with Moreno's number, prosecutors said. 

After her release, Moreno said in a television news interview that "it was a miscommunication with a person that I dated," according to the proffer. Though he said at the time he was having a hard time getting ahold of the woman and getting his car back, prosecutors said the claim is "not supported by phone records and text messages reviewed in the investigation."

Moreno lost his seat to Ald.-elect Daniel La Spata, slated to be sworn in on May 20. He was expected to appear in bond court on Wednesday. 

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