Dealing With Wire Fraud Charges

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Chicago federal wire fraud defense lawyerAn Episcopal Church priest and a businessman are facing federal charges after allegedly defrauding a foster care organization of approximately $10 million. A federal grand jury indicted both men, with the priest facing one count of money laundering, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and 15 counts of wire fraud while the businessman is charged with three counts of money laundering, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and 10 counts of wire fraud.

Whereas mail fraud encompasses crimes committed using physical mailing systems, wire fraud charges rely on electronic systems and can thus be much more expansive. Wire fraud is a serious federal crime because a conviction is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. However, an alleged offense involving a financial institution could be punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million.

Possible Defenses Against Wire Fraud 

The key phrase in Title 18 U.S. Code § 1343 is “having devised or intending to devise,” meaning an alleged offender in a wire fraud case must have had the intent to defraud another party. The most common defense against wire fraud charges usually relies on proving an alleged offender did not intend to do anything wrong.


Money Laundering Carries Stiff Penalties

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Chicago money laundering defense lawyerA suburban Chicago man who was convicted of laundering illegal narcotics proceeds was sentenced to seven years in federal prison. The man schemed to receive about $1.5 million in narcotics proceeds and send money back to traffickers in Mexico.

Federal criminal cases such as these call attention to how easily money laundering charges can arise in connection to all kinds of illicit activity, so many people can quickly find themselves accused of these offenses. In addition to the 20 years in prison, an alleged money laundering offender can also be ordered to pay a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in a transaction for money laundering.

Possible Money Laundering Defenses

When you are facing federal money laundering charges, you are going to need to invest in a criminal defense attorney who will know how to best develop a defense that can help create reasonable doubt in the mind of a juror. In many cases, alleged offenders may be able to argue that the money involved in their transaction was not obtained from any illegal activity and the episode did not involve any unlawful conduct.


Federal Drug Crimes Remain Common in Chicago

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Chicago federal drug crime attorneyThe United States Department of Justice and various United States Attorney’s Offices throughout the Illinois area were very busy in October detailing multiple stories of major drug charges in and around Chicago. On October 20, the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois announced 10 people were charged with federal drug conspiracy for allegedly conspiring to distribute at least 35 kilograms of fentanyl-laced heroin and crack cocaine on the West Side of Chicago.

The day before that, the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Wisconsin announced that a Chicago man was charged with drug offenses involving heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine that were punishable by several decades up to life in prison. Lest anyone think they can just run away from federal drug charges, the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois announced on October 14 that a 53-year-old man was arrested in Panama City on a flight from Colombia after failing to appear in federal court in Chicago before his 2009 drug trial.

Common Kinds of Federal Drug Charges

Many people who are facing any kind of drug charges wonder how their criminal cases will be handled when they are arrested while in possession of large amounts of drugs. Federal agencies are more likely to become involved in cases involving possible distribution to other states.


Federal Fraud Charges Carry Serious Penalties

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Chicago federal fraud defense lawyerLate last month, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a 33-count indictment showed that seven Chicago-area residents engaged in fraud related to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) and allegedly fraudulently obtained at least $16 million in small business loans and grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act. Each wire fraud and money laundering charge is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.

Just two days before that, a United States District Court Chief Judge imposed a 21-month sentence on a 28-year-old Merrillville man for stealing money from customers’ accounts. He pleaded guilty to white collar federal criminal charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering.

Possible Consequences of Federal Fraud Crimes

The federal government pursues a great many kinds of fraud cases, and fraud can involve many different aspects of everyday life. The United States Attorneys' Office will aggressively pursue convictions in these types of cases and all alleged offenders will need to invest in having experienced legal representation capable of providing a solid defense against the charges in court.


chicago federal criminal defense lawyerIn May of this year, ten people were killed, and three others were injured when a 19-year-old man opened fire at a grocery store in downtown Buffalo, New York. All of the victims were Black, and officials say the evidence indicates that the shooting was racially motivated.  As a result, when a federal grand jury indicted the young man in July, the charges included 14 counts of federal hate crimes. The alleged shooter could face the death penalty if convicted.

Federal hate crime law prohibits certain crimes motivated by bias against race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity. This means that if you commit a crime against someone because of their protected status, you could be charged with a hate crime in addition to the underlying offense.

What Is a Hate Crime?

A hate crime is a traditional criminal offense like murder, robbery, or vandalism that is motivated by bias against a protected group. The term "hate crime" is often used interchangeably with "bias-motivated crime."

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