Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Cara Smith
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)

csmith@atg.state.il.us
July 27, 2006

MADIGAN: GRAND JURY INDICTS FORMER COOK COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE EMPLOYEES

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today that on July 26, 2006, a Cook County grand jury returned indictments on seven separate cases against two former employees of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Jesus “Jesse” Rodriguez, 30, was employed by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in the asset forfeiture unit until he resigned on June 16, 2006. His wife, Teresa Sanchez, 31, also previously worked for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. In 2005 and 2006, Rodriguez and Sanchez allegedly devised a plan to steal money from victims whose property was the subject of asset forfeiture proceedings. According to this alleged plan, when victims contacted the Cook County State's Attorney's Office regarding the return of their seized property, Rodriguez would tell the victims to contact Sanchez who, for a fee, would prepare and file the papers in court for the return of the property.

Under the Cook County State's Attorney's Office asset forfeiture procedure, there is no fee for preparing or filing the forms other than a cost bond of $100 or 10% of the estimated value of the seized property, whichever is greater, which is payable directly to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

The grand jury returned indictments of Rodriguez and Sanchez in seven cases for seven separate victims. As to each victim, Rodriguez and Sanchez are charged with one count of Theft by Deception and three counts of Official Misconduct. Theft by Deception and Official Misconduct are Class 3 felonies punishable by two to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Rodriguez and Sanchez are scheduled for arraignment on August 15, 2006 at 2650 S. California.

The public is reminded that these are merely charges and that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Assistant Bureau Chief Maria Kuriakos is handling the case for Madigan's Criminal Prosecutions and Trials Assistance Bureau at the request of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

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