Suspects charged with home repair fraud in DuPage
Two men accused of home repair fraud against an elderly DuPage County woman were jailed Friday on $250,000 bail.
Joseph Lazzo, 44, of the 4700 block of Calvert Street in Rolling Meadows, and Tony Reed, 21, of the 3400 block of West Irving Park Road in Chicago, appeared in bond court before Judge Thomas Else.
Earlier this month, Lazzo convinced an elderly woman her home in unincorporated DuPage was badly in need of a new roof, authorities said. He accepted $8,000 as a down payment on a $22,250 contract and then never returned, according to the charges.
Assistant State's Attorney Bethany Jackson said Lazzo falsely told the victim, who is older than 70, he worked for a professional roofing service — a claim he repeated in court. He split the proceeds with Reed, who collected and cashed the check, she said.
"They prey on the elderly, judge," Jackson said in court.
She described Lazzo as a transient who served prison time in two states and has a criminal record dating to the early 1990s. He used a bogus contract, aliases and a professional roofing company's tax identification number to swindle victims, Jackson said.
Else set bail at $250,000 for both suspects, meaning they each would have to post $25,000 to get out of jail. The judge also ordered them to prove any bond money comes from legitimate sources rather than ill-gotten gains.
They return to court Jan. 28.
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