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updated: 8/26/2011 4:12 PM

Man charged with stealing money to buy wife a car

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A Chicago man currently on probation for federal mail fraud has been charged with stealing more than $10,000 from an Arlington Heights woman to buy his wife a 2004 Land Rover, prosecutors said.

A Cook County judge set bail at $120,000 Friday for Rony Mikhail, 40, whom police charged with theft, a class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison. Probation is also an option.

Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Walsh said earlier this month Mikhail told the victim, who is a friend of his wife's, that he was working with a lawyer to investigate a workman's compensation claim.

Mikhail got the woman to make out several checks for varying amounts and presented her with legal documents that included the lawyer's name, Walsh said. Mikhail has never worked for the attorney, who is not involved, Walsh said.

Walsh was unaware if the victim was the individual making the claim.

A search of Mikhail's home in the 6800 block of W. Devon Ave. in Chicago turned up copies of the victim's drivers license and W-2 forms, Walsh said.

Mikhail's criminal background includes a four-year sentence to the Illinois Department of Corrections following a conviction for theft in 2007. He remains on parole for that crime, Walsh said. He is also on probation for the federal conviction.

Mikhail next appears in court on Sept. 23.