Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Illinois money laundering lawyerFor Lori Loughlin, her husband, and several others involved in the college admissions scandal, the news only gets worse. Now, these defendants and several others have been charged with money laundering in addition to the charges they were already facing. As something that is often only seen on television and in gangster movies, the news has some wondering what the crime of money laundering really involves.

What Is Money Laundering?

Money laundering in its simplest form is taking money from one source and placing it into another to make it appear legitimate. The purpose is to hide money obtained from illegal activity, such as gang activity, and make it appear as though it was obtained through legal means. Moving this money is essentially “cleaning” it, which is where money laundering got its name.


The Crime of Extortion Explained

Posted on in White Collar Crime

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerIt was in late March that Michael Avenatti, the attorney that became famous while representing Stormy Daniels, was arrested on multiple charges, including extortion.  Extortion becomes a federal crime when certain factors are involved, such as the use of mail or computer communication to extort someone, or when the victim of the crime is a federal employee or public official.

There are many different types of extortion covered under the United States Code, and each carries its own penalties. When a person is facing charges of extortion, it is important they speak to a federal criminal defense attorney that can help them retain their freedom.

What Is Extortion?


Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerEmbezzlement is considered a white-collar crime. It occurs when one person entrusted with money or property on behalf of someone else misappropriates those assets for their own personal benefit. Many people think that embezzlement is automatically a federal crime. However, this is not true. There are both Illinois statutes pertaining to the crime of embezzlement, as well as federal statutes. The circumstances surrounding the crime will determine which charge is laid.

Federal Embezzlement Charges

Federal embezzlement charges are covered under Title 18 of the U.S. Criminal Code, Chapter 31. These charges are laid when the misappropriation of funds or property crosses state lines, as that falls under federal jurisdiction. In addition, if the embezzlement involved a federal agency such as the United States Postal Service, federal charges will also be laid.


How to Escape an ICE Audit Unscathed

Posted on in White Collar Crime

Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerNo one ever wants to get audited. When business owners are facing an ICE audit though, it is even more intimidating. These audits are conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the number of them have skyrocketed over the past year or so.

These audits are meant to look for undocumented immigrants that are working for a business. The law provides that businesses may hire a certain number of undocumented workers, but if more than that number is found, it can mean big trouble for the business owner.

It is important all business owners realize the possibility of an ICE audit happening in their place of business. It is also just as important that they understand how to escape one unscathed.


What Is Insider Trading?

Posted on in White Collar Crime
Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerEven with the widely publicized arrest and later conviction of Martha Stewart for insider trading, many people still are not aware of what this crime entails. Many also think that it is a crime of the affluent or those that have acquired fame, perhaps due to the Stewart scandal in 2003. However, people are charged with insider trading more often than many think. So, what does this crime involve? And what are the penalties associated with it?

Insider Trading Defined

Insider trading is when an individual has a fiduciary duty to another individual, institution, corporation, or other entity and makes an investment decision based on information that is not available the general public. The decision can be made in order to profit from that investment or to avoid losses in others. In the Martha Stewart case, she sold her ImClone stocks in order to avoid a loss. Interestingly, insider trading has only been considered a crime in the past several decades. Early in the twentieth century, the Supreme Court actually called insider trading an advantage of being an executive. After the opulent 1920s, and the subsequent Great Depression, public opinion shifted, and the courts’ did as well. It was at this time that insider trading was no longer allowed, and when the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 was created.

Penalties for Insider Trading

The penalties for insider trading will vary, depending on the nature and severity of the case. Most of the time, the penalties will include a combination of fines and jail times. In Stewart’s case, she was forced to pay $30,000 and spent five months in federal prison. Over the past several years, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has also been working to disallow anyone convicted of insider trading to serve as an executive in a publicly-traded company.

Defending an Insider Trader Charge

Like any other crime, the prosecution in an insider trading case must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In insider trading cases specifically, they must prove that securities were actually sold or purchased, that it happened while the defendant had knowledge not available to the general public, and that the information was material. In order for the information to be material, it must be proven that another investor would have thought the information was relevant when determining whether to sell or purchase securities. A proper defense can challenge any of these elements. If the media had leaked information pertaining to a certain security, it would be considered general knowledge the public had access to. Or, perhaps the information was not material and so, should not be considered relevant in an insider trading case. All of these defenses are possibilities, but no one should ever try to fight these serious charges on their own.

Contact a Chicago Federal Crimes Lawyer

If you have been charged with insider trading, or any other federal crime, contact a skilled Chicago federal crimes lawyer in Chicago that can help. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney, we know how to defend charges like these, and we will get to work right away to prepare you the best possible defense. Do not take a chance on your future. Call us today at 312-629-0669 for a free consultation so we can start reviewing your case.


Back to Top