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IL defense lawyerFederal prosecutors indicted a suburban Chicago man who owns a drug wholesale company for buying $57.2 million worth of unregulated prescription drugs and re-selling them to unsuspecting drug stores and distributors. According to court documents, the man allegedly bought diverted prescription drugs at a discounted rate from unlicensed suppliers, told his employees to clean up the materials so they looked regulated, and then told buyers he acquired them from a licensed supply chain.

Prosecutors argue that because the prescription drugs did not come through a legitimate supply chain, they are unregulated and pose a serious health risk to those who use them. Pharmaceuticals, like the drugs in question, are supposed to be regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), whose criminal investigative division investigated the case.

The man was charged with six counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, and three counts of money laundering. In other words, a fairly common stack of white-collar financial crimes.

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Posted by on in Weapons

IL defense lawyerThe term “straw purchase” is a type of gun crime often used in reference to buying a firearm illegally. More specifically, it is when you go into a gun store and buy a firearm for a person who is legally prohibited from buying or possessing one. The reason the prohibited person might do this is fairly straightforward. He or she would be unable to honestly complete the process.

When you buy a firearm, you have to fill out a form and answer questions showing that you are legally allowed to buy and possess a firearm. The gun dealer then submits the form for review by the FBI, specifically by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Checks System, or NICS for short, to review your criminal record.

The term has been in the news recently because the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago filed charges this week against an Indiana man for conspiring to straw purchase a handgun that was used in the shooting of two Chicago police officers, an incident that left one officer severely injured and the other dead.

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Posted by on in Fraud

IL defense lawyerThe Justice Department recently indicted 10 men from the Chicago area on bank fraud charges. According to a press release issued by the department, the men allegedly deposited the counterfeit money orders, which were issued by the U.S. Postal Service, into bank accounts they had access to and then immediately withdrew the money. The indictments allege that the men committed fraud by altering the money orders, changing them from $10 to a higher sum, typically $800 or $1,000, and then depositing the fraudulent amounts. In all, the men allegedly defrauded more than $1 million from various banks.

For many, a couple of things might jump out in this case. First, the alleged crime was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Although you rarely hear about the Postal Inspectors, they are actually one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. Like the FBI, they have the power to enforce a wide range of federal laws, but the crimes usually have to somehow involve the Postal Service.

The other part is the severity of the punishment. The defendants, in this case, are being accused of bank fraud and not a crime of violence, yet if they are convicted, each individual could face up to 30 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines. Now, you might be wondering: why is the punishment for bank fraud so harsh?

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Posted by on in Federal Crimes

Illinois federal gun crime defense attorneyIn response to a sharp increase in gun deaths across the country, the Department of Justice this week launched a multi-jurisdiction strike force to target illegal gun traffickers. Officials hope cutting off the supply of illegal weapons will result in fewer gun deaths.

With 19,410 victims killed in 2020, last year saw about a 20 percent increase in gun-related murders, according to the Gun Violence Archives, an organization that tracks gun violence across the country. Almost seven months into the year, 2021 has already seen 11,635 people die from gun violence.

The Justice Department said the strike force is part of a larger comprehensive strategy introduced by the attorney general and president earlier this year. For the strike force, the feds will work with local and state officials, and while the entire country is fair game, they will primarily focus on regional areas like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the Bay area, and the District of Columbia.

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Illinois federal criminal defense attorneyThe U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois indicted a Chicago man for allegedly producing child pornography earlier this month. According to the news release, the man allegedly persuaded several minors to engage in sexual activities and then secretly recorded it. When federal agents searched his home, they found a plethora of explicit material of a similar nature on hard drives, a cell phone, and a computer. Given the severity of the alleged child sex crimes, the man could face serious prison time.

Federal Child Pornography Laws

According to federal law, there are about half a dozen statutes covering child pornography, but they can be categorized into four groups: producing child pornography; buying and selling it; possessing, distributing, and receiving it; and producing sexually explicit depictions of a minor for importation into the U.S.

The Justice Department considers child pornography to be any visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. This does not necessarily mean the child is engaging in sex, but rather the child is “sufficiently sexually suggestive.” The activities described in these statutes are considered criminal offenses regardless of whether the minor was willing to pose or participate.

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