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Chicago Criminal Law Blog

Chicago woman, two others accused of tax fraud

A Chicago woman was recently accused by federal prosecutors of defrauding the IRS. She and two others allegedly filed false tax returns for clients and then received the refunds.

The three women each face 10 counts of wire fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft.

Part II: Drug cases dismissed after Chicago cops indicted for corruption

Regular readers of our legal blog know that we recently wrote about a pair of Chicago cops who are accused of lying to Cook County judges to get search warrants. Prosecutors believe Sgt. Xavier Elizondo and Officer David Salgado used improperly obtained warrants to conduct searches in order to steal cash and drugs from the homes of those raided and arrest the residents on drug trafficking charges.

According to the Chicago Tribune, State’s Attorney Kim Fox has so far dropped charges against 37 people who were arrested by the team headed by Elizondo.

Chicago insurance executive facing fraud charge

Chicago’s famous skyline has over the years been dominated by iconic skyscrapers bearing the names of major insurance companies, including the Willis Tower, Aon Center and of course, the John Hancock Center (now known by its 875 North Michigan Avenue address).

The city’s insurance industry was recently shaken by news that a vice president of an insurance underwriting group has been charged with wire fraud by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Part I: Drug cases dismissed after Chicago cops indicted for corruption

On a cold January day, a Chicago police sergeant and officer carried out a raid as they had hundreds of times before. Using an informant’s tip, they obtained a search warrant from a Cook County judge and entered a woman’s apartment looking for evidence of illegal drug sales.

Inside, Sgt. Xavier Elizondo and Officer David Salgado found marijuana in mason jars and small bags of heroin. They also found a handgun, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.

Task force aims to cut Illinois female prison population in half

They are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and girlfriends. Many of them are from Chicago, but all of them are locked up in Illinois prisons. They spend time in the state’s correctional system on a wide variety of charges that include drug trafficking and manufacturing, fraud, robbery and sometimes violent crimes as well.

Female inmates are the focus of a proposal by a 100-member all-female task force to cut the number of incarcerated women in Illinois in half in seven years. There are current nearly 2,300 women in state prisons.

Four charged in alleged Chicago area retail theft, fraud scheme

Law enforcement officials said their months-long investigation involving a group of heroin addicts, Chicago and suburban pharmacies and SNAP resulted in the arrests of four suspects.

The four were charged with wire fraud in an investigation conducted by Wilmette police, and law enforcement officers from Chicago, Schaumburg, the Department of Homeland Security and even the federal Department of Agriculture, which runs SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

Chicago police: $160,000 worth of diamonds stolen in plain view

There is an old saying that the hand is quicker than the eye. That’s not true, of course, but what is true that our eyes fix on one object at a time. We are therefore susceptible to sleight of hand; practiced hand movements that lead the eyes away from where action is really occurring.

Chicago police say a 67-year-old man who recently stole nearly $160,000 from a jewelry store used sleight of hand to carry out a diamond heist that employees did not notice for days. According to the Chicago Tribune, the man is awaiting extradition from Florida to Illinois to face felony criminal charges.

Supreme Court: Warrant generally need to track location with cell data

With much of Chicago and national media busy covering political news in a tumultuous time, some important stories get overlooked or are given short shrift. Let’s rewind the clock a few days and take a look at the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on privacy rights.

Late last week, the court that law enforcement will generally need to get a search warrant before it can track a person with cell phone records over an extended period. The decision was widely hailed by privacy rights advocates as an important victory in the digital age.

Chicago men arrested in federal fentanyl, heroin trafficking probe

Federal officials recently announced charges against more than 50 people this week, with arrests in Chicago, north to Wisconsin and far south to Mexico.

The arrests were part of “Operation Full Circle,” a federal and state investigation into heroin and fentanyl trafficking on Chicago’s West Side.

DOJ increases number of federal prosecutors for violent crimes

Throughout out his term in office, President Trump has repeatedly disparaged Chicago for its “out of control” gun violence. He has threatened to send in federal reinforcements to combat the issue. This week, the administration took action.

The Department of Justice announced that it is creating 311 new Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) positions, focusing on three keys areas: violent crime (190 prosecutors), civil enforcement—predominantly aimed at targeting the opioid epidemic (86 prosecutors) and immigration (35 prosecutors). Of the new violent crime prosecutors, six are designated for Illinois—four for northern Illinois specifically.

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Darryl A. Goldberg
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