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The City of Chicago has been wrongly placing felonies on the records of those in diversion programs. Having a felony on your record can make it difficult to find housing or apply for a job. In one case, a man who was identified as Malcolm in an article published by the Chicago Sun-Times lost his job because his employer found out about a felony on his record. However, he had only been arrested for a low-level crime and pleaded it down as part of a diversion program. 

In many cases, these were people who were promised a clean record if they successfully completed a diversion program. Malcolm had a good job and was proud that he was able to provide for his children. He was offered a diversion program as part of a felony case and promised that he would have a clean record if he completed the diversion program. Instead, the felony popped up on his record and cost him his job. He was shocked. As it turns out, Cook County had wrongly been placing felonies on the records of those who completed diversion programs over the past three years. 

Malcolm became homeless as a result of losing his job. He began sleeping in doorways after he could no longer pay his rent. 

A Chicago chiropractor is facing federal fraud charges after billing a private insurer for nonexistent services. The defendant is alleged to have owned and operated Movement Health and Rehab, also known as Motu Chiropractic. According to federal authorities, he submitted false claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for health care services that the defendant knew he never rendered. In some cases, allegedly fraudulent claims were rendered on dates when the patient or their chiropractor was not in Illinois. Other claims involved chiropractic services that were provided to the defendant and his family members even when the defendant knew that those services were not provided. Blue Cross Blue Shield denies claims that are provided to family members. So, the defendant knew that the claim would be denied. 

When Blue Cross Blue Shield audited the defendant’s claims, he submitted false patient information to them. As a result of the fraudulent claims, the defendant made $430,000 in ill-gotten proceeds, according to the indictment. The defendant is now facing 14 counts of healthcare fraud. Each individual count is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. Below, we will discuss the crime of healthcare fraud.

Those Accused of Healthcare Fraud Often Face Federal Charges

Chicago prosecutors are dropping cases that relied on a Chicago police officer’s testimony after that officer was accused of perjury. The officer testified that his girlfriend had stolen his car in order to get dozens of traffic tickets against him dismissed. The officer is accused of perjuring himself 44 times in a bid to get traffic tickets dismissed. The tickets involved running a red light, speeding, and parking violations. 

Perjuring yourself under oath is considered a criminal act. But more so, any defense attorney who tried a case involving the officer would bring up the fact that he was willing to lie under oath. In many cases, the facts of the case rely entirely on an officer’s testimony. Since the officer is no longer considered a reliable witness, this places the cases involving his testimony in peril. It could also result in appeals for convictions in which the case hinged on his testimony. 

An assistant state’s attorney has declined to pursue seven cases in which the officer made the arrest. Some of these cases dated as far back as 2021. The assistant state attorney offered no reason for refusing to pursue the cases, but defense counsel made mention of the officer’s credibility problems. 

The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled that one of the provisions of the SAFE-T Act that would end cash bail is constitutional. The decision will allow Illinois to become the first state in the country to end cash bail. Instead of cash bail, judges will have the ultimate discretion on whether or not an individual is released from prison prior to their case. 

Gov. Pritzker signed the SAFE-T Act into law the previous year. This one provision, whether or not to eliminate cash bail, was thwarted by the courts. The issue boils down to fairness. In many cases, an individual could be held in jail on charges that they could later defeat in court. However, if they could not afford to pay their bail, it acted as leverage for prosecutors to coerce a guilty plea out of them. In other words, they were held in jail until they pleaded guilty to the charges, and if they refused to plead guilty, they would remain in jail until a trial could be scheduled. This created an unfair situation for the poorest defendants who could not bond out of jail. 

The provision is known as The Pre-trial Fairness Act. It was among the most controversial aspects of the bill. The cash bail provision was set to go into effect on January 1 of this year. Several prosecutors and sheriffs, however, filed cases in an attempt to halt the act. The provision was thus suspended until the cases could be heard by another court. The case made it all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court before the provision was passed in a 5-2 vote. 

A 30-year-old Chicago police officer is facing charges that he sexually abused minors. In March, the officer was charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a minor. The Sheriff’s Department later uncovered evidence from his cell phone that he sexually abused other minors and recorded the abuse on his cell phone. The officer met his victims while working in his official capacity as a police officer in Cook County. He has since been charged with aggravated sexual abuse, two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, and manufacturing child pornography. Investigators say that he invited the minors to spend the night at his home.

Aggravated Sexual Abuse

Illinois employs severe penalties for those who are convicted of sexual assault. Defendants face years in prison when convicted of sex crimes in Illinois. Judges are never authorized to grant probation in these cases. Prison time is required by law. In these cases, a defendant will serve a minimum of four years on the least aggressive charges filed against them. All defendants are required to register as sex offenders. 

A Chicago-area woman is facing charges of emailing death threats to former President Donald Trump. She also mentioned his son Barron in the threat. The 41-year-old defendant is accused under federal law of transmitting threats to kill or injure, according to the U.S. attorney’s office here in Chicago. 

According to federal authorities, the defendant sent the following message: “I will state that I will shoot Donald Trump, Sr. AND Barron Trump straight in the face at any opportunity I get!” She emailed this statement to the head of an educational institution in the Palm Beach, Florida, area. 

Understanding the Law

A Chicago police officer and his sister have been convicted of several counts related to the January 6th riot at the Capitol. The officer was convicted of entering or remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in the Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building. The jury acquitted the police officer of another crime. He was accused of entering the office of Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley. 

He is one of several individuals who have been charged with serious crimes related to the January 6th riot. The most serious charges have been filed against those who either attacked Capitol police that day or organized the event to storm the Capitol building during the swearing-in of incumbent President Joe Biden. 

18 Years for Stewart Rhodes

A Chicago man has been charged with the grisly murder of a 9-year-old girl. He appeared in court just recently for a bond hearing, during which he was denied bond. His public defender had argued for a reasonable bond based on the fact that the defendant had no criminal history. However, the Chicago courts, considering the severity of the crime with which he is charged, elected to deny him bond. The defendant was still recovering from a shooting himself. He was shot in the left side of his face as police attempted to apprehend him. 

Police do not yet have a motive for the shooting. The defendant was a neighbor of the victim. According to the police report, the victim was standing near an ice cream truck when a shot rang out. The victim’s father told her to go back inside their home, where she would be safe. That is when the shooter exited his house armed with a handgun, approached the 9-year-old who was with her father and shot her in the head with a handgun. When the father saw that the defendant was shooting at his daughter, he tried to stop him. During the altercation, the defendant was shot in the face with his own gun. 

Mental Health Defense

Police surrounded the home of a Tinley Park man who was suspected of slaying a woman. The man had barricaded himself in his home and was surrounded by SWAT for hours before the arrest was made. Local residents were told to shelter in their homes while the standoff continued. The suspect has been charged with one count of first-degree murder

While the investigation remains ongoing, the police believe that the man killed a 30-year-old woman. He was apprehended by police after a domestic call. Police found the victim’s body near where the domestic call had been called in. According to police, the man stabbed the woman several times. He had lacerations on his own face as well, likely defensive wounds. 

Suspect Has a Lengthy Criminal History

A 20-year-old juror says that he could not sleep after convicting a defendant of being an armed habitual criminal and battery of a police officer. He later called the conviction a “cover-up.” Nonetheless, the defendant was convicted and will go to jail, though he may have grounds for an appeal. 

An altercation between the defendant and the police officers occurred after the defendant ran into an apartment complex. The defendant was on probation for a drug-related crime and subject to a curfew. Police followed the defendant into the apartment complex and fired on him. They claimed he had a gun, a fact which the defendant denied. The prosecution failed to present fingerprint evidence tying the defendant to the gun. 

It remains unclear why the juror voted to convict the defendant when he clearly believed that he was innocent. However, it gives you a sense of how our jury system works and why, sometimes, defendants are convicted based only on the say-so of the police.

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