CHICAGO - A former Chicago Alderman was indicted on fraud charges for allegedly using money from a political fund to pay personal expenses.
Ricardo Munoz, 56, of Chicago has been charged with 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.
The 16-count indictment alleges that while serving as Alderman of the 22nd Ward, Munoz used money from a political action committee formed by the Chicago Progressive Reform Caucus to pay for a relative's college tuition and other personal expenses, which included jewelry, clothing, cell phones, vacations, sports tickets and airline tickets.
The indictment states that Munoz obtained the money through cash withdrawals and debit card charges from the CPRC's bank account or by transferring funds from the account to another political fund he controlled (Citizens for Munoz) to his personal account.
Additionally, the indictment says that Munoz attempted to conceal the fraud scheme by making materially false representations to the Illinois State Board of Elections and staff members and contractors of the CPRC.
Munoz was a member of the City Council from 1993 to 2019 and served as chairman of the CPRC and performed the duties of its treasurer.
Public officials were prohibited by law from receiving payments from the CPRC for personal expenditures.
Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, while the money laundering count carries a maximum sentence of ten years.