Vernon Hills man gets 8 years in prison for 'long cons'

A Vernon Hills man who officials called a "con artist" was sentenced to eight years in prison Friday.

Ricky Dugo, 56, took hundreds of thousands of dollars in what prosecutors described as "long cons" that caused significant harm to his victims.

"We thank the victims for their participation in bringing this con artist to justice," Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said Friday.

A Lake County judge on Friday accepted a negotiated deal that dropped several of the pending charges in exchange for Dugo's pleading guilty to one felony count of theft and serving eight years in prison. Under the terms of the deal Dugo also will have to pay more than $145,000 in restitution to his victims.

Officials said Dugo persuaded his victims to give him money for investments that didn't exist. Over time, Dugo would then return to the victims for additional money, stringing them along after the initial investments were given to him, officials said.

Sara Avalos, spokeswoman for the Lake County state's attorney's office, said prosecutors were pursuing four cases against Dugo, one for each victim.

The negotiated plea deal is on behalf of three of the victims, Avalos said.

Dugo will receive credit for 50 days spent in jail. With time off for good behavior, he could finish his sentence in just under four years.

Rinehart said the victims supported the plea deal.

Last month, a criminal case on behalf of one of the four victims went to a bench trial, and a Lake County judge found Dugo guilty of one felony count of theft by deception. On Friday, a judge sentenced Dugo to four years in prison in that case. Avalos said that sentence also will be served at 50% and concurrently with the latest sentence, Avalos said.

"This has been a long journey for Mr. Dugo's victims," Rinehart said. "We hope that eight years in prison and over $145,000 in restitution helps his four victims."

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.