MADIGAN: CHICAGO MAN ARRAIGNED ON THEFT CHARGES FOR CITY OF CHICAGO TICKETING SCAM
Defendant scammed people into thinking he was paying off their various tickets and fines
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today joined with the City of Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to announce theft charges against Christopher C. Williams of Chicago for allegedly stealing money from victims and the City of Chicago under the guise that he was paying off the victims’ City of Chicago tickets and fines.
Williams, 28, was arraigned today for Class 1 felony of theft of government property between $10,000 and $100,000; theft of property between $10,000 and $100,000, a Class 2 felony; theft by deception between $500 and $10,000, a Class 3 felony; theft by unauthorized use between $500 and $100,000, a Class 3 felony; and four counts of wire fraud, also a Class 3 felony. The charges could amount to $25,000 in fines or up to 15 years in prison.
While working as a contract security guard at various Chicago Department of Revenue offices from September 2013 through October 2013, Madigan alleged Williams engaged in different schemes designed to deceive people into thinking he was paying their City of Chicago tickets and fines for either a lower amount or in an expedited way, when, in fact, he was stealing the money for profit.
“The defendant abused his position to scam people out of their hard-earned money for his own benefit,” Madigan said.
As part of his schemes, Williams would either advertise his services as a “ticket fixer” on social media or he would approach individuals waiting in line at a Chicago Department of Revenue payment center. He allegedly offered to pay their tickets and fines at the kiosk, which he was not allowed to do. Williams would “pay” the ticket or fine at a kiosk in the Department of Revenue lobby using a check that drew funds from a Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) account. The machine would print a receipt saying the tickets and fines were paid, and Williams would provide individuals with a receipt while keeping the cash. Williams’ schemes drained the DFSS account of more than $40,000.
“The concerns raised by the allegations in this case are amplified by the damage to the public trust that occurs when injury arises from interactions with an employee of a City contractor working at City facilities,” said Inspector General Joseph Ferguson. “DFSS’s quick identification and reporting of this issue is to be commended.”
Bond was set at $40,000. Williams’ next court appearance is July 20 before Judge Erica Reddick.
The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The investigation was conducted by the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General. Bureau Chief Edward Carter and Assistant Attorney General Al Berry are handling prosecution of the case for Madigan’s Special Prosecutions Bureau.