Crime spree halted as alleged con man faces charges in at least 5 Chicago area jurisdictions

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Friday, October 6, 2023
Alleged con man faces charges in at least 5 Chicago area jurisdictions
Alleged con man John Hancock is facing credit card fraud and identity theft charges in the Chicago area.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Catching a convicted con man.

More local business owners are coming forward, claiming they too were conned by a serial thief who has new charges pending in at least five jurisdictions.

The con man is John Hancock (Yes, that is his real name!). Over the years, ABC7 has reported on his repeated charges of fraud and theft in our area.

Hancock's alleged crime spree has been halted for now; multiple counties recently issued warrants for his arrest.

SEE ALSO | Suburban businesses accuse convicted credit card fraudster John Hancock of more crimes

"Identity, theft and the use of fraudulent checks and credit cards in conjunction with that identity theft," is the list of offences Wheaton Lieutenant Patti Potter told the I-Team.

There's a new indictment and warrant against this Chicago man.

He was charged in connection to an alleged scam of Superb Carpets and Flooring in Wheaton. The owners, Art and Joanna Wisniewski said Hancock came into their store in November 2022, and swindled them out of $36,000.

"We would like to get the word out that you have to be super careful," Art told the I-Team.

Each time, they said, Hancock paid with a credit card or a cashier's check, using a different name.

"After a few days, I saw on our bank account that one check is bouncing. So then, I figured out, we're in trouble," added Art.

The DuPage County indictment is just one of the several new allegations against Hancock.

"He is currently being held in Cook County on charges stemming from a an incident that occurred in Chicago. He does have warrants in multiple jurisdictions," Potter said.

Hancock faces five charges in a Cook County identity theft case to steal $9,000. Charges include theft deception, unlawful possession of a debit or card and battery of a peace officer.

In Lake County, there is a warrant out for forgery and theft of $12,000 worth of trees from a nursery. In Will County, Hancock is being investigated for the theft of a $17,000 fork lift.

Business owners accusing Hancock of those charges aren't only calling police, but they're also calling the I-Team.

"When we look on the video, we see the same person," said Art.

As the I-Team reported, Hancock spent three years in prison after pleading guilty in 2018 to theft, when he deceptively obtained thousands of dollars' worth of art from a Wicker Park gallery.

READ MORE | Gallery owner says PayPal won't help enough after alleged heist

He also pleaded guilty in 2014 to stealing IDs and forging credit cards to buy thousands of dollars worth of belts and shoes from Neiman Marcus, seen on security video.

Hancock is currently in the Cook County Jail, and the I-Team has not yet heard back from the Cook County Public Defender's Office, which represents him.

The DuPage County Public Defender's Office said Hancock does not yet have an attorney listed in the current case.

Hancock pleaded not guilty in all recent court appearances.