COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Former 1st Ward Ald. Joe Moreno, who was charged with falsely reporting his Audi stolen and trying to collect $30,000 in insurance, pleaded not guilty on all counts Tuesday.
After the brief court hearing, Moreno and his attorney, Camilo Oceguera, left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.
Moreno, who lost his reelection bid in February amid a string of damaging headlines, was arrested in mid-May.
Prosecutors said Moreno invited a woman he was dating to his home on Jan. 3 and encouraged her to borrow his Audi sedan. After he saw her off, he even warned her by text message not to smoke in it, prosecutors said at his bond hearing.
The next day, Jan. 4, Moreno reported the car stolen in a call to police, prosecutors said.
Even after reporting the car stolen, he made dinner plans with the woman, prosecutors said.
He also filed an insurance claim with State Farm, insisting the car was stolen, prosecutors said. Weeks later, in a follow-up call to State Farm that was recorded, Moreno said he had left his key in the car, and must have either left his garage door open or someone scrambled a signal to open the overhead door automatically, prosecutors said.
Moreno, 46, was ordered released from jail on his own recognizance by Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. at at his bond court hearing in mid-May.
In announcing he would let Moreno out on a cashless “I-bond,” Lyke said if allegations are true it was a “terrible lapse in judgment.” But the judge noted Moreno is alleged to have committed a non-violent crime.
At Tuesday’s court hearing, Hooks said Moreno’s next court date is set for July 18.
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