Adam Lopez arrested for theft, financial exploitation

Adam Lopez

District 186 School Board Vice President Adam Lopez was arrested Wednesday morning.

Sangamon County State's Attorney Dan Wright issued a press release, which said Lopez is facing charges of theft and financial exploitation of the elderly.

A Sangamon County grand jury handed down the five-count indictment Wednesday morning and Lopez was later arrested by U.S. Marshals.

"This was a collaborative investigation by the US Attorney's Office, Sangamon County State's Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Illinois Department of Insurance and the Springfield Police Department and I want to commend all of those agencies on a very through, collaborative investigation," Wright said.

Lopez is being held in the Sangamon County Jail on bond in the amount of $1.5 million.

His arrest follows an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Illinois Department of Insurance and the Springfield Police Department.

The indictment alleges Lopez knowingly exerted unauthorized control over more than $1 million that was entrusted to him by several individuals as an investment professional.

According to a press release, Lopez intended to deprive the individuals of the funds, permanently.

The investigation has been ongoing since September of 2018 and is continuing as additional victims are identified.

If convicted, Lopez could face up to 30 years in prison.

"These types of financial crimes, especially by someone in a position of trust of confidence will be prosecuted vigorously. The harm caused by these activities is immeasurable and those responsible will be brought to justice," Wright said.

Dan Wright issued a statement regarding Lopez's case and commended the hard work of all who were involved in the investigation thus far.

"Individuals who commit these types of financial crimes in a position of trust or confidence will be vigorously prosecuted. The harm caused by these activities is immeasurable and those responsible will be brought to justice," Wright said.

Lopez's personal office was searched by Springfield Police on October 31 after police obtained a search warrant.

Earlier in October, the District 186 Superintendent told us the school board is also conducting a forensic audit looking into the Adam Lopez basketball tournament.

Adam Lopez is currently the District 186 School Board Vice President.

When asked for comment on the arrest, District 186 Spokesperson Bree Hankins tells us, “The District is not involved in any investigation involving Adam Lopez or any of his personal matters. We have no further comment on his personal matters.”

In regards to his position on the school board, Hankins said he is an elected official and the board does not have the authority to remove an elected board member. The Regional Office of Education is the only entity that has that authority.

We have reached out to Lopez's Attorney, Daniel Noll.

Jeff Vose, the Sangamon County Regional Superintendent of Schools said in regards to Lopez being removed from the board, a school board member for failing to do their job and the way that plays out is if they don’t show up and that is the only way he can be removed. If Lopez misses three to four months of meeting then he can be removed. He can’t be removed for alleged criminal misconduct. Just like any other citizen who is being accused of a crime and they get due process. If Lopez is to be convicted and is proven guilty then he would automatically be removed from the school board.

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RELATED: District 186 school board president accused of violating policies for tournament

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