SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, is combatting con artists in the guise of trusted legal counsel with his new law imposing greater penalties on criminals pretending to be notaries.
“Criminals are ripping off huge fees from confused working families by pretending to be able to do things as public notaries that they can’t do, and it’s time for them to face justice for their wrongdoing,” Connor said. “Building a stronger, safer Illinois is my priority as a legislator. This law fights back against con artists who try to exploit our communities for personal gain.”
Building on his record of protecting the vulnerable from predators, Connor backed House Bill 2176, which requires notaries who are not licensed attorneys to clearly inform clients that they cannot accept fees for legal work, both verbally and on openly-displayed notices. Notaries who do not follow these procedures can be fined up to $1,500 and lose their licenses. The bill received strong bipartisan support and is now law.
“Confused families are giving money to these predators that could be used for their children’s future. The type of criminals willing to do this to innocent people just to line their wallets will only respond to tough consequences,” Connor said. “They don’t care about who they hurt, they care about money; so we have to send a strong message: trying to con people out of their hard-earned money is going to cost you.”