Articles Tagged with Chicago criminal defense attorney

Former porn star Ron Jeremy has been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial by the judge presiding over his case. He faced dozens of rape charges but was only recently in the news after victims came out to share their stories. A judge declared that he was in “incurable neurocognitive decline,” and his condition was unlikely to improve. Prosecutors have asked that Jeremy be routinely reevaluated in case his condition improves. A hearing deciding Jeremy’s fate will be held later. He is likely to end up in a state hospital.

Jeremy pleaded not guilty after a grand jury indicted him on 34 counts of sexual assault. 12 of those counts included allegations of forcible rape. His defense attorney stated that he believed Jeremy would be found innocent of the charges. He expressed regret that Jeremy would not have the chance to defend himself in a court of law. 

The law requires those who are facing charges to understand the charges filed against them and be able to participate in their own defense. The court ruled that Jeremy did not understand the charges against him due to his health and could not participate in his own defense. This is different than an insanity plea. Below, we’ll discuss the case in more detail.

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.

A local Chicago rapper is going to plead guilty to using stolen credit cards to pay for private jet rides, luxury vehicles, and “designer” puppies. The charges were filed by the federal government in this case. The rapper is facing one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft, according to the court filing. Officials say he is one of six codefendants in the case. 

The rapper will plead guilty to one count of wire fraud and another count of making false statements. A wire fraud conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Prosecutors have filed paperwork affirming the agreement, but the judge still needs to sign off on the plea deal. Two counts of aggravated identity theft were dropped in negotiating the plea agreement. 

Wire Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud

Over the past decade, Chicago has placed restrictions on employers when they consider the criminal history of job applicants. These measures have been called “ban-the-box” ordinances. Chicago’s ordinance mirrored statewide requirements under the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act (JOQAA). On April 24, 2023, the City of Chicago passed substantial amendments to the ban-the-box ordinance, which is set to take effect immediately.

The purpose of the legislation is to prevent recidivism by giving those with criminal histories a better opportunity to find gainful employment and keep themselves out of trouble. 

Prior Ban-the-Box Restrictions

A Chicago woman has been charged with attacking several people with a bat. In at least one case, she asked a victim, “What would happen if I hit you with this bat?” Well, the verdict is in. She will be charged with several counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and face more charges for instances in which she did not use a bat, but merely attacked people with her hands. 

All told, she will face four counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, three counts of aggravated battery in a public place, and one count of aggravated assault. Her bond has been set at $800,000 or $100,000 per victim for a total of eight victims. Although the judge noted it was her first offense, he had to consider the safety of the public in assessing bail. The woman is unlikely to have enough money to bail herself out, and thus, she is off the streets.

The attacks appear to be random. In one case, the woman drove up alongside a victim and said something threatening. She then punched the woman in the face and began dragging her by the hair until a third party intervened. An hour later, she found a second victim and said something threatening before attacking. 

An incident that had the Arab American community up in arms has resulted in criminal charges being filed against an Oak Lawn police officer who allegedly committed official misconduct in the court of arrest. The officer will have to face charges of aggravated battery and official misconduct after a grand jury decided to pursue charges against the officer. The Oak Lawn police department has declined to comment on the incident.

Two other officers involved in the altercation were not charged, much to the disappointment of the family. This appears to be the new normal as far as police violence goes. The law will charge the individual as a scapegoat who committed the most egregious violation, and then those who stood by and watched or partook in a lesser way get off without repercussion.

The officers were filmed during the altercation. Two were holding the victim on the ground while a third continually struck him. The video went viral, and the police department defended the officers stating that they were following their training. This, too, is part of the problem. 

The “Cop City” protest group in Atlanta involved recruitment and awareness efforts in Chicago via a Twitter account and group meetups. In this case, the activists were opposed to the destruction of a public park and an 85-acre urban forest in Atlanta that was earmarked for use as a police training center. The area was thenceforth known as “Cop City.”

The activism efforts spooked the FBI even though there was no evidence that the group did anything more than raise awareness about the destruction of an urban forest and hold meetings to discuss social and environmental issues. Nonetheless, the FBI snooped on the activists and dedicated federal funds to the effort of stopping “anarchist extremism.” 

Documents, which failed to indicate anyone in the group did anything illegal, characterize the individuals as “violent anarchist extremists” and “violent environmental extremists,” but there is no evidence to buttress those allegations.

A Chicago woman will spend the next five years in federal prison after authorities convicted her of using the identities of dead people to commit fraud against the federal government. According to the authorities, the woman used the identities to apply for benefits, some of which were disbursed during the coronavirus as pandemic aid packages. 

The woman acquired the identities of murder victims to pull off the scam. Authorities say it netted over $45,000 in profit. The information was used to file tax returns and pandemic-related entitlements. The woman would pose as relatives of the murder victims to collect payments on their behalf.

Prosecutors characterized the theft as “morally repugnant.” The woman had prior convictions for various forms of fraud. The court, in passing sentence, characterized her as a career criminal who had multiple opportunities to turn away from a life of crime but chose fraud anyway. 

Two FTX associates have pleaded guilty to charges including wire fraud, commodities fraud, and securities fraud amid the crypto collapse that temporarily destabilized the U.S. economy. Amid the allegations leveled at the company are accusations that they kept no discernable ledger for transactions, did most of their bookkeeping with QuickBooks, and cut themselves loans with their own names as both borrower and recipient.

The largest player, Sam Bankman-Fried, was still in the Bahamas as he was supposed to be testifying before Congress. He was flown back to the U.S. and is currently in FBI custody. A deal was reached with the two associates in exchange for testimony against Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried appears poised to be the fall guy for whom the FBI has been waiting. Collectively, the two associates faced 110 years in federal prison. However, their cooperation with law enforcement could help them secure much better deals moving forward.

Ultimately, the federal prosecutors want Sam Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried recently disbursed $100 million in FTX assets to Bahamian investors even as the crypto-exchange assets were frozen per the bankruptcy court. This amounts to bankruptcy fraud and is yet another charge that will be added to Bankman-Fried’s growing list of charges.

In a bad mood? Want to turn it around with a little cyberbullying? Think again. A Michigan woman is facing charges related to cyberbullying teenage students, including her own daughter, according to authorities. The woman is facing five counts, including, most importantly, stalking a minor. 

The woman’s own daughter and her boyfriend reported getting harassing messages to authorities which spurred forth the investigation, which lasted a year. Ultimately, the culprit turned out to be the girl’s own mother.

The mother used VPNs and other methods to hide her identity. At one point, she attempted to obscure her IP address in a manner that would lay the blame on classmates of her daughter. The woman was also working as a basketball coach at the time. Law enforcement says that the VPN exposed the defendant’s IP address for a fraction of a second before connecting. Indeed, you must connect your VPN prior to going onto the internet. If you do it after connecting, you will expose your actual IP while the VPN is unconnected or if it goes out. VPNs are not foolproof. A network interruption could expose your IP. Alternatively, not all VPNs are created equally. In this case, the woman’s IP was exposed. 

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