Illinois Weekly Publisher Accused Of Passing Bad Checks

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Jorge A. Montes de Oca Sr., owner and editor of the bilingual Spanish- and English-language weekly El Dia in Cicero, Ill., surrendered to police Monday on charges he and his son swindled an auto dealer out of $56,000 with bad checks.

Waukegan, Ill., police said Tuesday that Montes de oca Sr., 64, and his son, Jorge A. Montes de Oca Jr., 35, had been wanted on felony charges of theft and deceptive practices by posting checks through a closed account and an account with insufficient funds to purchase vehicles from 131 Auto Sales in Waukegan.

“Allegedly the pair posted these checks to purchase vehicles in excess of $56,000,” a police statement said.

Waukegan Police spokesman Commander Wayne Walles told E&P Montes de Oca Jr. was arrested Monday night by Lyons police and turned over to Waukegan police.

Both were released on $20,000 bonds.

A person answering the phone at the offices of El Dia said neither were at the paper, and were not expected to come in Tuesday. A message left at the newspaper was not immediately returned.

In a brief interview with reporter Mercedes Fernandez of the Chicago daily Hoy, Montes de Oca Sr. said “all of this is a question of politics” in Cicero, a close-in suburb of Chicago. He asserted that he and his family were being “attacked” because a daughter, Ana Maria Montes de Oca, a writer with the paper, has indicated she wants to run for office against the incumbent administration in Cicero.

El Dia, established in 1985, is a mostly free-distribution bilingual weekly distributed in the suburbs and some neighborhoods of Chicago. Its media kit says it has a circulation of 60,000.

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