1 down, 2 to go: Former alderman pleads guilty to filing false auto theft report, but his legal problems aren’t over

Former Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno put one-third of his legal problems behind him Friday when he pleaded guilty to charges related to a false auto theft report he filed with police in January 2019. Prosecutors said Moreno loaned his Audi to his girlfriend and then reported the car stolen to CPD and his insurance company.

Everything went great for a month — until cops pulled the sporty A6 over as it was being driven by his then-girlfriend, 35-year-old Liliya Hrabar on the 4800 block of West Armitage. She was detained and briefly charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle until police learned that Moreno gave her permission to use the car.

Now, Moreno has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in exchange for a sentence of two years “second chance probation” from Judge William Hooks. The case will be dismissed if Moreno completes his probation successfully. Insurance fraud and other charges were dropped in the plea deal.

Proco “Joe” Moreno and Liliya Hrabar | WGN

Hrabar subsequently filed a defamation lawsuit against Moreno. The matter has been on hold since November 2019 pending the outcome of the criminal case, according to court records.

While the false report allegations and the lawsuit were pending, Moreno picked up yet another case after he allegedly plowed his Audi into nine parked cars and a tree along 3 blocks in the Gold Coast on December 27, 2020.

Allegedly sporting a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit, Moreno was treated for minor injuries at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and then released after being charged with misdemeanors.

Judge Hooks later ordered him into custody for violating the terms of bail in the false report case. But Moreno quickly went home after posting an additional bail bond. Moreno has said he underwent treatment after the crash, but the DUI case is still pending.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com