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Chicago Criminal Law Blog

Trio of Chicago men face federal murder-for-hire charges

Three Chicago men have been charged by federal authorities with violent crimes in the city’s Lawndale neighborhood. The men – ages 37, 26 and 19 – are accused of involvement in a murder-for-hire operation that resulted in two fatal shootings.

The men are each charged with conspiracy to use an interstate facility in the commission of a murder for hire, according to John R. Lausch, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Report: meth use and arrests on the rise in Illinois

While much media attention is focused on the opioids epidemic, fewer headlines are devoted to the resurgence of methamphetamine. The powerful stimulant has regained the popularity it had back in the 1990s and early 2000s.

According to research by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, meth-related drug arrests have increased significantly in our state in the past few years.

Chicago real estate agent faces bank fraud, ID theft charges

Backed by dance-music rhythms, the raucous parties on a Chicago real estate agent’s 58-foot powerboat called Flying Lady stood out from the other floating festivities off of the downtown shore. In a recent article, the Tribune speculates that the parties might be over, however, after 44-year-old David Izsak’s arrest for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Federal officials seized the Flying Lady, seeking forfeiture of the Carver 570 Voyager yacht. In the indictment, they alleged that Izsak fraudulently obtained $360,000 in financing for its purchase back in 2011.

Illinois court strikes down Chicago Police Department practice

A divided Illinois appellate court recently stated that a decision striking down a controversial law enforcement practice used only in Cook County will not have dire consequences for the one department affected. “Our decision merely puts the Chicago police officers on equal footing with their colleagues in other departments throughout the State of Illinois.”

The court struck down a Chicago police practice known as an “investigative alert.” It enabled supervisors to order police to arrest suspects they encountered without search warrants or observing them committing a crime.

Chicago Engineer Accused of Stealing Train Maker's Trade Secrets

Chicago’s history is inextricably linked with the history of the railroad. More lines of track radiate from Chicago than from any other city. Our hometown is the interchange point for freight traffic and the hub of Amtrak.

When allegations of wrongdoing in the Chicago railroad industry surface, they are taken seriously by city, state and federal officials. A suburban software engineer for a locomotive manufacturer was recently charged by federal prosecutors of stealing trade secrets and sharing them with the company in China where he now works.

FBI, federal prosecutors level public corruption charges

Chicago news media recently reported on a type of story that they have some experience with: allegations of wrongdoing in public office. As we have seen in our city, these types of public corruption accusations are often complex and politically charged.

The recent articles are not about allegations in Chicago, however, but are instead rooted in neighboring Indiana, where a sanitary district administrator and local businessmen were arrested by federal officials as part of a years-long investigation into alleged corruption in Muncie city government.

Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein Charged With Alleged Sex Trafficking

A few days ago, Chicago newspapers and TV stations exploded with the news that billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was again facing prosecution. The 66-year-old hedge fund manager has been accused by a federal prosecutor of sex trafficking and conspiracy.

If convicted, Epstein faces a possible sentence of 45 years in a federal prison.

Thousands eligible for expungement of Illinois weed-related convictions

Richard Wallace, the founder of the non-profit Chicago civil rights and justice organization, Equity and Transformation (EAT) says the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois presents us with “the greatest contradiction that we've seen.” Wallace points out that a “poor person sells cannabis to put food on the table; they're a criminal. A wealthy person sells cannabis to make more wealth; they're touted as innovators."

One important feature of legalization is that the arrest records of hundreds of thousands of people who have been convicted on marijuana-related charges are now eligible for expungement.

Feds show off tons of cocaine seized in historic bust

If you laid out the 15,582 plastic-wrapped bricks of cocaine end-to-end, they would stretch two and a half miles, officials said. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that some of the confiscated haul was recently put on display by federal law enforcement agents who said they seized more than 17 tons of the drug a few days ago at the Port of Philadelphia.

Six people have been arrested on drug-trafficking charges in what is being called one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history. The street value of the historic haul has been estimated at more than $1.1 billion.

Federal government continues to focus on healthcare fraud

The recent release of the Department of Justice’s annual report on its Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program made it clear that the federal government continues to focus on this area of criminal law. It has shown time and again that it is willing to charge doctors, pharmacists, executives and investors alike.

Healthcare fraud allegations can be leveled against both government payers and private payers, according to a recent news article.

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Darryl A. Goldberg
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