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Chicago Criminal Law Blog

Chicago restaurateur facing wire fraud charges

A few years ago, Chicago restaurant reviewers wrote of Embeya’s modern Asian menu. The West Loop restaurant featured salmon tartare, poached octopus, mustard-laced avocado puree and much more that delighted diners.

The former owner of the eatery was recently in a federal courtroom for a hearing on whether he could be released from custody after being arrested last December in Spain. Attila Gyulai, 47, was charged with wire fraud after prosecutors alleged that he defrauded investors of approximately $300,000.

Chicago police add high-tech cameras to drug-trafficking effort

Most of us who drive on the Eisenhower Expressway going in or out of Chicago are too focused on the traffic to think about being watched as we navigate the busy roadway. News reports about the installation of 20 high-tech surveillance cameras along the expressway mean that it is time to think about being observed by authorities.

Chicago law enforcement officials say the cameras will be used to prosecute drug-traffickers on what has dubbed “Heroin Highway.”

Chicago man faces serious drug charges, serious potential punishments

A West Side Chicago man was about 40 miles from his Lawndale home when he was recently arrested in suburban Joliet. The 25-year-old faces several serious charges, according to his hometown newspaper, including manufacture and delivery of a heroin-like substance, manufacture and delivery of a cocaine-like substance, possession of a weapon by felon and possession of a firearm by a street gang member.

The news report says that both weapons charges are Class 2 felonies punishable by three to seven years in state prison.

Chicago alderman Moreno charged with insurance fraud

Because Ald. Proco Moreno’s Audi A6 was stolen, his insurance company was set to pay him more than $30,000 to cover his loss, until the Chicago Police Department said the vehicle had not actually been stolen.

Now the 1st Ward alderman has been arrested and charged with insurance fraud, obstruction of justice and filing a false report of stolen vehicle.

Chicago tow truck driver faces felony charges

Truck drivers trying to navigate Chicago’s streets safely have to watch carefully to avoid cars and pedestrians, but also have to be aware of the overpasses as well. When the driver of a Freightliner box truck clipped a McKinley Park overpass earlier this year, he was “feeling bad because I had gotten into a major accident and I didn’t know what to do.”

Seemingly out of nowhere, a helpful tow truck driver appeared and lent a hand, hauling the damaged Freightliner to the towing company’s storage lot. However, the tow truck guy might not have been as helpful as he initially seemed: Along with another man, he was later arrested and charged with a felony count of tower solicitation.

Two in custody after series of Chicago overdose deaths

Charges against two Chicago men are serious, though law enforcement officials say the allegations could become much more serious. One of the men has been charged with felony drug offenses, including the manufacture or of heroin and possession of a controlled substance, according to Cook County court records.

But police officials said the men might be connected to a series of overdoses caused by a batch of fentanyl-laced heroin that left four people dead on Chicago’s West Side.

Chicago suspect tries daring escape, but now faces murder charge

The daring escape attempt looked like something out of the movies. Chicago police said a 22-year-old man recently jumped from a sixth story window in an attempt to evade arrest. The escape attempt failed, however, after the man landed on the concrete sidewalk outside of his South Side apartment, breaking bones and suffering serious internal injuries.

According to a report in the Sun-Times, the suspect was taken first to a hospital and later charged in federal court with murder in aid of racketeering and illegal possession of a 9mm handgun.

Pharmaceutical executive indicted on drug-trafficking charges

Chicago’s NBC affiliate WMAQ recently reported on a former pharmaceutical industry executive who is part of the unfolding opioid scandal. The now-retired CEO of the Rochester Drug Co-Operative was recently indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of conspiracy related to drug trafficking.

Federal prosecutors allege that 75-year-old Laurence Doud III urged his salespeople to sign new customers without asking questions. That no-questions approach extended to his firm’s largest customer, which went from ordering 70,000 monthly units of Oxycodone to nearly three times that just a year later.

Pharmacist convicted on federal fraud and drug-related charges

We have written in this space about people in the Chicago area who faced federal drug trafficking charges. Those allegations typically revolve around illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. It is rare to see drug-related charges against a businessman who sold legal drugs from a pharmacy.

But that was the case with Paul J. Elmer, the former owner and CEO of Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals. He was recently convicted by a jury of distributing “over- and under-potent drugs to military and civilian hospitals” in Chicago, Indiana and elsewhere, the Department of Justice stated. He was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and of distributing adulterating drugs.

New law could mean parole for young offenders with lengthy sentences

A significant change is coming to Illinois criminal justice on June 1. That’s when most young adults who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms will start to become eligible for a parole review after they have spent 10 years behind bars.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed the measure that will soon take effect. "This historic legislation will create a long-awaited and vital new parole system for youth facing long sentences," he said at a bill-signing event in Chicago’s West Side Lawndale neighborhood.

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