Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerIn early January, former Congressman Chris Collins was sentenced by a federal judge to over two years in prison for insider trading and making false statements to federal agents. The former congressman told his son that the results from the clinical trial conducted by Innate Immunotherapeutics were negative. Armed with the tip, Collins’ son sold his shares, and many others followed. Along with the jail time, the judge also sentenced him to a fine of $200,000.

Collins admitted to what he had done, saying that he was a disgrace to not only his son, but also the constituents he once served. However, not everyone charged with insider trading is guilty. For these individuals, there are many defenses available.

There Was No Purchase or Sale of Securities

Insider trading is the act of sharing information pertaining to securities before that information becomes public. Then someone must act on that information by either purchasing or selling their stocks or shares. In Collins’ case, the results of the clinical trial had not yet been released, but his son sold his shares after hearing of the trial’s results. This contributed to the conviction of Collins.

If there is no purchase or sale of securities, there is no insider trading. Intending to sell or purchase stocks or shares is not enough. There must be an actual transaction made.

The Information Was Public

Once information about certain securities has become public, anyone can act on that information. The company that has the shares or stocks also does not need to be the one to release that information in order for it to be considered public. The media could have leaked it, or a report could be published. As long as the public has access to it, that information is considered public and so, there is no penalty for sharing it.

The Information Was Immaterial

Even when information is not yet made public, the information must be considered material, or of high importance, in order for insider trading to occur. If the information is immaterial, it does not matter if it is shared or not, even if the information is not public.

In the case of the former lawmaker, the information was very important because it showed that their product was not as effective as the company had claimed. If however, the clinical trial was inconclusive, that would likely not be material because it does not reflect on the quality of the product and so, sharing that information would likely not be considered a crime.

Facing Federal Charges? Call Our Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Insider trading is a white-collar crime and so, many people think it does not carry harsh penalties. The case of the former congressman, however, shows that is not true. If you are facing charges of insider trading or any other federal offense, a skilled Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer can help with your case. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, we can help you build a solid defense to give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today at 312-270-0999 to schedule your free consultation.



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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerA conviction for healthcare fraud comes with very serious consequences. A person faces very high fines, and possibly even long sentences in federal prison. As such, it is important that anyone facing these charges understands that there are defenses available, and a federal criminal defense lawyer will know how to use them. Below are just a few of the most common defenses that are often used in these cases, and that may be used in yours if you are facing charges.

What is Healthcare Fraud?

Healthcare fraud is a crime that typically involves a person or organization defrauding the federal government. There are many different types of healthcare fraud. A medical clinic may violate the Anti-Kickback statute by receiving money or other incentives for patient referrals. Or, a doctor may overcharge a Medicare invoice in order to receive more money than what was required for a certain service. These are just two types of healthcare fraud, but there are many others. No matter the charge, there are defenses that are very effective and can give those accused a good chance of beating the charges.

Defenses to Healthcare Fraud

Facing charges of healthcare fraud is very scary, and it certainly seems hopeless. It is not.

Sometimes, a person may not have intentionally committed healthcare fraud. They may have simply made a mistake on an invoice or made a coding error. Many cases of healthcare fraud require intent on the part of the accused. If there was no intent, there was no fraud. Certain evidence, such as a history of honest records and billing could show that there was no malicious intent to commit fraud.

In certain cases, the best defense is that the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to convict a person of healthcare fraud. In federal court, just like in state court, the prosecution has the burden of proving that someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that there has to be very little question in the jurors’ minds that a person accused of fraud is actually guilty of the offense.

It is true that federal agencies have a lot of power when investigating cases of health care fraud. They may talk to witnesses that worked in a doctor’s office, and collect invoices they suspect are fraudulent. In some cases, they can even seize assets of the person accused. However, these measures do not always provide them with enough evidence to meet their heavy burden of guilt. When that is the case, it could result in the charges being dropped.

Facing Charges? Our Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer can Help

If you have been arrested for health care fraud, our skilled Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer knows what a scary situation it is. However, you do not have to go through it alone. We know how to prepare defenses against these charges and will give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today at 312-270-0999 to schedule your free consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.


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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerSometimes, people find themselves in such a bad situation that they become desperate. That was likely the case in late January when a man, believed to be between 20 and 30 years old, entered the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union in the Salmon Creek Albertsons in Washington. After approaching the teller he handed her a note demanding cash and after receiving it, he left. Police are still asking for help in locating the suspect who will likely face charges of bank robbery if caught. The bank robbed in the recent story was a federal credit union, so it makes sense that it would be considered a federal offense. However, are all bank robberies considered a federal crime? The answer is yes, and a conviction comes with harsh consequences.

How is Bank Robbery Defined in the Federal Code?

Bank robbery is covered under 18 USC 2113. This section of the United States Code defines bank robbery as stealing or attempting to steal cash or property of any value that belongs to a bank, credit union, or savings and loan association.

A person does not have to walk into a bank to be charged with bank robbery, but they must take the property from a bank. For example, taking money from an armored truck, a night depository, or a bank machine is considered bank robbery. If a person threatened another person to withdraw money from a bank machine and give it to them, that would also be considered bank robbery. However, if a person had already withdrawn money and was then robbed, that would likely be considered a state robbery crime and not a federal bank robbery.

Penalties for Bank Robbery

Individuals convicted of federal bank robbery could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, or both. These penalties could increase if any person’s life was jeopardized during the course of the robbery, or if another person was killed or abducted as a result of the crime.

Defenses to Bank Robbery

A solid defense is crucial when facing bank robbery charges, and there are several available. To secure a conviction for bank robbery, the prosecution must prove that a person used force, intimidation, or violence when stealing from a bank. Disproving either of these points can provide a strong defense. Like with any other crime, the defense of mistaken identity is also useful when facing bank robbery charges. Often the only visual law enforcement has is video surveillance, which is not always clear. It is sometimes easy to mistake one person for another when relying on this evidence alone.

Facing Charges? Call Our Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested and charged with a federal offense, you do not have to face it alone. Our skilled Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel can help. We have the necessary experience to protect your rights, create a strong defense for your case, and give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today at 312-270-0999 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.


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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerIf you have been indicted for a federal crime such as embezzlement or bankruptcy fraud, you likely know that you need a qualified federal criminal defense lawyer to represent you. You likely also know that you do not just need a lawyer, you need the right lawyer for your case and one that will give you the best chance of success. So, how do you go about finding one? Following the tips below will certainly help.

Find the Right Type of Lawyer

If you are charged with or being investigated for a federal crime, you need a federal criminal defense lawyer. These lawyers are much different than divorce lawyers or estate planning lawyers. They are even much different than criminal defense lawyers that work at a state level. Federal criminal defense lawyers understand the federal system, how federal courts work, and what the sentencing guidelines are in federal court. This is important and will make a difference in your case.

Most lawyers will tell you they cannot take your case if it does not involve an area of law they mainly practice. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Some lawyers will take on whatever case they can get, simply because it means more profit for them. You do not want an attorney if their main priority is making money and not helping you with your case.

Hire Someone Who Is Skilled

This one may seem to make sense, and be fairly obvious. However, it is not. Some attorneys climb the ladder because they are friends with lawyers and judges. This is not the way it should be but unfortunately, it is. This is why it is so important to research the lawyer’s background. Did they go to a reputable law school? Do they have professional accomplishments other than just being a lawyer? Do they belong to any associations that indicate they remain highly involved in law even when they are not with clients?

All of these questions do not guarantee that any federal criminal defense lawyer is the best. After all, many qualified attorneys went to underrated law schools and many mediocre attorneys went to well-regarded law schools. These considerations are still important to think about, though.

Hire Someone that Communicates Well

One of the most important things to consider when hiring a federal criminal defense lawyer is how well they communicate. Part of an attorney’s job is to communicate well with their clients, judges, juries, and everyone else they meet as a result of their line of work. If an attorney cannot adequately communicate with you and make sure you understand what they are saying, there is a good chance they cannot adequately communicate the arguments of your case to a judge or jury, either.

Our Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer can Help with Your Case

If you have been charged with a federal crime, or you are under investigation for one, call our skilled Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer today. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, our attorney has the necessary experience with the federal criminal justice system and can prepare a solid defense for your case. Call us today at 312-270-0999 to schedule a free consultation so we can start reviewing your case.


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