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Chicago Criminal Law Blog

Experienced Federal Prosecutor to Lead Fight against COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Fraud in Chicago

Make no mistake that even during a global pandemic federal agents and law enforcement will actively investigate and prosecute crimes. According to the latest press release from the US Attorney’s Office in Chicago, the Chief of the Financial Crimes Section of the United State’s Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois is taking the lead as the COVID-19 Fraud Coordinator for the Northern District of Illinois which encompasses the Chicagoland area.

According to U.S. Attorney Lausch, “My office will vigilantly guard the public from fraudsters who try to take advantage of a vulnerable time for our nation…(a) national crisis is by no means a safe harbor for criminal activity.”

50 arrested in Chicago area on drug-trafficking charges

According to legend, both mariachi music and tequila originated in the Mexican state of Jalisco. According to the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the recent arrests of more than 600 people nationwide on drug trafficking charges has disrupted Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación ("CJNG"), which also originates in the western Mexico state.

The six-month investigation, dubbed Project Python, included 50 or so arrests in the DEA's Chicago division, a WMAQ report stated. There were also many arrests in other parts of the Midwest.

Defendants request dismissal of white-collar charges

Four former bank employees accused of trying to illegally manipulate precious metals futures contracts say the criminal charges against them should be dismissed. The men filed their motion in Chicago’s U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The Department of Justice charged the men with RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) conspiracy, conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, bank fraud, commodities fraud, price manipulation and spoofing.

Sentencing near for former Ald. Edward Vrdolyak co-defendant

Back in 1998, a group of 46 states – including Illinois – reached the largest settlement in history with tobacco companies. The $206 billion settlement included $9.3 billion for Illinois to compensate the state for tobacco-related health-care costs.

According to federal prosecutors, former Chicago Ald. Edward Vrdolyak and his friend Daniel Soso scammed about $10 million for themselves out of the settlement though they did no work on the case. Soso, 67, and Vrdolyak, 82, have each pled guilty to a single count of tax evasion and are awaiting sentencing.

Chicago Sun-Times rips CPD, trolling cops, needless arrests

A recent report on the Chicago Police Department added new meaning to the word “trolling.” For many, the term refers to online provocateurs who specialize in name-calling and making incendiary remarks. But trolling by CPD officers is another matter entirely.

Police trolling refers to a Chicago police officer who makes a traffic stop or an arrest for disorderly conduct at the end of their work shift, precisely so that the officer has a reason for overtime (and increased pay). According to Chicago’s Inspector General, these trolling arrests escalate “a situation which could have been within the officer’s discretion to dismiss.”

Suburban Chicago businessman charged in alleged Ponzi scheme

If you drive about an hour southwest of Chicago, you will arrive in the Village of Minooka. A businessman there is facing a federal wire fraud charge. Prosecutors accuse the 49-year-old owner of The Income Store of operating a Ponzi scheme.

They allege that his scheme took in $75 million from hundreds of investors.

Chicago Women Sue Disgraced Former Cops Over False Arrests

On the list of disgraced and corrupt Chicago cops, former officers Xavier Elizondo and David Salgado will always have prominent places. The two were convicted last October of manufacturing evidence, stealing money and drugs and then engaging in a cover-up of their criminal activities.

Elizondo and Salgado are back in the news after two city residents filed federal lawsuits against the pair, stating that the former officers illegally raided their homes using warrants based on fabricated information and then falsely arrested them.

Chicago man charged in $50,000 diamond theft

If you drive just north of Cook County, you will find Lake County and Gurnee. According to news reports, a Chicago man was recently arrested there and charged for his alleged involvement in the theft of $50,000 worth of diamonds.

Law enforcement officials said the diamonds were stolen from a Gurnee jewelry store in December.

Sun-Times: Chicago cops lied about last year’s ‘first’ gun arrest

In 2019, the Chicago Police Department made national headlines after it announced that its very first gun arrest of the new year had taken place just one minute after midnight of January 1st. The announcement highlighted the department’s focus on making weapons arrests – except that it was not the first gun arrest of 2019. And two weeks after the arrest, the weapons charge was dropped.

One more thing: the only ones who were punished for the arrest were the arresting officers and the sergeant who signed off on the arrest report. All three were suspended for falsifying the time and date of the arrest.

Three Chicago-area men charged in alleged fencing operation

Just four miles north of Chicago’s northern border, Wilmette is often ranked as one of Illinois’s best places to live, partly because of its school system and partly because of its low crime rate. Three men recently arrested there on charges that include money laundering and continuing a financial crimes enterprise might well question whether law enforcement officials are wrongly blaming them for what others did.

Police claim the men have been operating a retail theft and fencing ring for nearly a year, buying stolen merchandise and then reselling the items online.

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Darryl A. Goldberg
33 North Dearborn Street
Suite 1830
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 773-793-3196
Fax: 312-782-7074
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