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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...
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Chicago federal crime defense lawyerIf you have ever watched crime shows on television, you are probably familiar with the term “money laundering.” While most people know that money laundering is illegal, many are not sure about what it actually means. Money laundering is a very serious offense that is prosecutable at both the state and federal level, and as a federal offense, it carries the possibility of severe criminal penalties.

Understanding Money Laundering

Money laundering, in general, refers to a process through which a person or group of people attempts to conceal the sources, control, or ownership of money that was generated from certain crimes. It is common for money to be “laundered” by moving it to and from separate accounts, including foreign accounts, or by concealing funds amidst the revenue of seemingly legitimate businesses.

Many different types of crimes could generate funds that a person or criminal enterprise would wish to launder, including but not limited to:


Illinois federal criminal defense attorneyAccording to Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1343, a person commits the federal offense of wire fraud when he or she devises a scheme or plan that uses wire, radio, or television communication to obtain money or property under fraudulent or false pretenses. The crime of wire fraud is very similar to the offense of mail fraud, but instead of using the postal service, wire fraud uses electronic communication.

A person who is convicted on federal charges for wire fraud is subject to penalties that include up to 20 years in prison for each count. This is the sentence that a suburban Chicago businessman could face after being arrested last week and charged with wire fraud in federal court. The man’s alleged scheme involved the fraudulent sale of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Business Formed at the Beginning of COVID Lockdown

Numerous news outlets are reporting that a 44-year-old man was arrested on November 9 for his alleged role in a scheme to defraud two hospitals of approximately $2.6 million. The man is the head of a biotechnology company formed in March in the village of Willowbrook, Illinois, just as nationwide lockdowns were being implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The company’s website states that it provides “medical supplies for both personal and professional use.”


Posted by on in Fraud

fraudA wild story emerged recently about a man that lived as his dead relative for over a decade, at least when it came to the deceased’s Social Security benefits. The man tricked the government into thinking that the deceased man was still alive and living with the fraudster. Federal agents caught on eventually and, after questioning the man, charged him with deceased payee fraud.

The story sounds outrageous, but it happens more often than people think. In fact, in 2018 alone, the Social Security Administration (SSA) paid out over $40 million to 500 dead people in just three states. Those states were Texas, Maryland, and Michigan. This, however, is just one type of Social Security fraud and all of them are taken very seriously by the federal government. The most common types of this kind of fraud are below.

Making False Statements


falsifying-documentsRecently, two men connected to a well-known attorney were charged with many offenses after it was found that they were trying to leave the country. One of these crimes was falsifying records to obstruct an investigation. This currently has people around the country wondering what the penalties are for this crime, and what exactly the offense entails.

What is Falsifying Records?

Under federal law, it is a crime to destroy, alter, or falsify records in connection with a federal investigation. It is also a crime to commit any of these acts with records during bankruptcy proceedings. Altering documents in regards to an audit is also an offense that could have someone facing federal prosecution. Taking public records and hiding them, or walking away with them, is also considered falsifying records. Before securing a conviction though, there are certain things the prosecution must prove. If they can, those charged face very harsh penalties.


Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyer,If you have been charged with a federal crime such as healthcare fraud or money laundering, you will need to understand how the Federal Sentencing Guidelines work. These guidelines are just that - they are guidelines to help judges decide on appropriate sentences. They are not hard and fast rules.

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are released in a publication every year. Although judges are not required to follow these guidelines, they are required to at least consider them. If a federal judge decides to deviate from these guidelines, they must provide a clear and full explanation of their reason for doing so. Below is a brief explanation of how these guidelines work.

What Are the Federal Sentencing Guidelines?



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