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Hal Garfinkel is retained as the defendant's lawyer in the Chicago high profile murder case of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. Read more...

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerWhite collar crimes are non-violent offenses that are typically committed for financial gain. Embezzlement, securities fraud, money laundering, and insider trading are all common examples of white-collar crimes. The FBI aggressively investigates these crimes and federal prosecutors are always very eager to secure a conviction in these cases. Although white collar crimes do not involve violence, convictions still carry high fines and lengthy terms in federal prison.

Anyone charged with a white collar crime must work with a federal criminal defense attorney that understands the defenses for these crimes and how to use them effectively. If you are facing charges, below are the most common defenses used in these cases.

Finding Weaknesses in the Prosecution’s Case

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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerThe crime of mail fraud was first addressed by the federal government in the mid-1800s after evidence surfaced that people were using the U.S. mail system to conduct various scams. The interstate nature of the mail (and eventually wire service) effectively required the matter to be one of federal interest. As a result, in 1872, it became a federal crime for a person to use mail services—and now the internet—to willingly and knowingly deprive another person of their money, property, and/or services.

It is important to keep in mind that in order for an act or scheme to constitute mail or wire fraud, it must intend to defraud another party by means of wire communication or the mail. This means that an advertisement for a legitimate product or service—even one that is deceptive or misleading—is not generally considered fraudulent. The intent of the accused is the key to the case. The suspect must have intended to obtain something for nothing in order for the act to constitute fraud.

State and Federal Charges

In Illinois and some other states, wire and mail fraud are also prosecutable at the state level. If you are charged with both state-level mail fraud and federal mail fraud, your cases will likely be pushed up to federal court. The elements of such cases are similar at both levels.

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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerRecently, a man in Birmingham pleaded guilty to tax evasion for failing to pay $1.3 million in taxes. John P. Cooney filed false returns in 2011 and the returns were for the three years prior. Cooney was accused of failing to pay $780,000 to the IRS and instead, created a fraudulent company that he then used to conceal his salary and returns from his investments. In addition to facing up to five years in prison, he is also now required to pay $1.3 million in penalties.

The story is an interesting one and a good reminder as Americans head into tax season. It is important everyone understands what tax evasion is, and the serious penalties associated with the offense.

What Is Tax Evasion?

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Posted by on in White Collar Crime

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

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IL fraud attorney, IL counterfeit crimes lawyer, Illinois defense lawyerThe FBI has recently broken up a counterfeiting scheme involving fake iPhones and iPads. The scheme was a sophisticated one. Although the devices were fake, they contained the original International Mobile Equipment Identity numbers and serial numbers. These are nearly impossible to counterfeit and usually only appear on original products. The suspects are three brothers that now face a number of counterfeiting charges. Many people think that counterfeiting is a somewhat old crime, but stories like this show it is just as prevalent as ever. So, what are the penalties for it, and are there any defenses to these charges?

The Definition of Counterfeiting Under the Law

Under the law, found at 18 U.S.C.A., Section 471, counterfeiting is defined as intending to defraud, falsely create, forge, counterfeit, or alter any security of the United States. The term ‘security of the United State’ indicates U.S. currency. However, for a bill to be considered counterfeit, the fake must be close enough to real currency that it would fool a reasonable person.

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