Teen charged with bilking classmates out of cash for trip

Tribune reporter

A 19-year-old man was arrested Saturday and accused of stealing money he had collected from a group of schoolmates for a trip to a north central Illinois resort to celebrate graduation.

Kjuan Green of the 5300 block of West Monroe Street was charged with seven counts of misdemeanor theft, said Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.

The group, all seniors at a North Side high school, had planned a trip May 18 to Utica, about 90 miles southwest of Chicago, to mark their last time being together before graduation, Mirabelli said.

Green collected $175 per person to fund the travel and resort expenses, Mirabelli said, but on the day of the trip, the bus never arrived at the scheduled meeting place on the 2900 block of North Hoyne Avenue. Green wasn't there either, Mirabelli said.

The next day, one of the students filed a complaint against Green, saying he had collected money from 20 students but did not make good on the agreement, Mirabelli said.

In total, Green collected $3,750 for the trip, Mirabelli said, but police found that Green had never secured a bus or booked reservations at the resort. The resort the students thought they'd be visiting is Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort in Utica, he said.

The reason the charges were filed as a misdemeanor is because each of the seven counts was for theft of less than $500, Mirabelli said.

The trip was done independently from the high school where the victims attend. Officials said the students attended Alcott High School for the Humanities, which is at 2957 Hoyne Ave.

Green is due back in court July 10.

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