Articles Tagged with chicago theft attorney

A Chicago pharmacist has been convicted of stealing and then selling blank COVID-19 vaccination cards on eBay. The announcement came from the Justice Department, which claimed that the pharmacist stole CDC-issued vaccination cards and made them available to eBay users across the country. The Justice Department claims that over three weeks, the pharmacist listed over 650 vaccination cards on the online marketplace. They claim he sold the cards to over 200 individual buyers and pocketed more than $5,600 due to the illicit sales. 

The government was able to present evidence of the transactions and correspondence sent between the pharmacist and buyers. The pharmacist was convicted of 12 counts of theft of government property.

His attorney plans to appeal the verdict, claiming that the cards were not government property and that the government never exerted any control over them to make them their property. Instead, The government made the cards available to pharmacies like Walgreens, which distributed the cards after patients received COVID-19 vaccinations. In other words, the government exerted no supervision over the cards. They only printed them and then distributed them to pharmacies.

It is unclear what, if any, peacekeeping organization the defendant belongs to. However, he was wearing a Peacekeeper’s vest when police say he invaded another man’s car, pulled him from the vehicle, and stole his wallet and cell phone. The attack took place in Little Village, and he was among a group of eight people.

The Peacekeepers are a citizen-run organization that helps prevent violence in Chicago. Thus far, they have not been associated with any violent assaults until one man was caught on police surveillance video pulling another man from his car. The man sustained fractures to his head and ribs. The peacekeeper has since been charged with aggravated battery, robbery, and invasion of a vehicle.

The Rules Regarding Security Teams

Since retail theft crimes have become a major problem across the U.S., the Chicago police department has initiated a sprawling effort to reduce the overall number of retail thefts and ensure the prosecution of those who are caught. An Illinois man has since been charged with eight counts of non-probational felony theft and four counts of probational felony theft. 

Theft crimes have become a political battlefield, and today, it is common to find different jurisdictions throughout Illinois enforcing different rules pertaining to local ordinances. It was assumed that the rules were overly harsh and antiquated. A defendant could face felony charges for the theft of $150 in merchandise. Today, the threshold is much higher, but the pressure on law enforcement has increased as retail theft crimes become more commonplace and organized. Today, the only way to get a felony by stealing $150 in merchandise is if you steal gasoline from a fuel pump. 

Analyzing the New Initiative

The Justice Department announced charges against 21 individuals involved in an organized theft of catalytic converters. From 2018 to 2020, catalytic converter thefts skyrocketed by nearly 700%. Catalytic converters are now big money due in large part to the precious metals used in the manufacture of devices. They are designed to convert harmful gas emissions created by your vehicle into non-harmful gas emissions that reduce smog and protect the environment. Without a catalytic converter, your car will not run properly, either. As the value of these precious metals has increased over the past few years (think inflation), catalytic converters are becoming a prime target for thieves. 

As of right now, some states have moved to place catalytic converters on a list of restricted items that require ownership documentation and provenance to exchange. Others have yet to pass legislation addressing the thefts of catalytic converters, but as the situation worsens, chances are likely that more states will join in to include catalytic converters on lists of restricted items. 

The 21 individuals charged in the ring lived in nine separate states. 32 search warrants were executed, and millions in assets were seized as a part of the investigation. 

A 19-year-old man and seven others are accused of forcing their way into a Louis Vuitton store and stealing an estimated $77,000 in merchandise. In this case, each of the bags had trackers in them, and police were able to recover the trackers along the interstate. From the trackers, they were able to recover a palm print along with “other evidence” that placed one suspect at the scene of the crime. 

In terms of retail theft, the type of charge you face is related to the value of the merchandise. The law was updated in the past few years and now it is a felony to steal any merchandise valued at $1,000 or more. Prior to that, you only had to steal $150 worth of merchandise to qualify for a felony. However, due to inflation, the law was updated to reflect the minimal amount of buying power that $150 represents.

Those charged with felony retail theft can never expunge the offense from their record. Those charged with misdemeanor retail theft can. Hence, the stakes are quite high for 19-year-olds charged with retail theft. The state will still have to prove that the value of the stolen merchandise was greater than $1,000. Additionally, the palm print evidence may not be as strong as fingerprint evidence.

The last time you heard about an ORC you were likely watching Lord of the Rings. Nonetheless, “organized retail crime” is becoming a major issue for Chicago retailers. CPD released a statement announcing a crackdown on organized retail crime after a 15-year-old was arrested and charged with 21 counts of theft from a beauty store. 

The problem for police is that it appears that teenagers are being used to carry out the crimes, are paid by adults for the merchandise they pocket, and then that merchandise is sold over eBay or related services for profit. Police believe that the conspiracy employs children because they are less likely to face serious criminal charges. They also hide the identities of the adults who are profiting from the theft. The children are paid a fraction of the cost of the merchandise. This makes it a win-win for both children and adults. However, the retail stores and the very backbone of our economy are placed at risk by retail thefts. 

Police have announced that they intend to track the merchandise and sales and come down hard on those who resell the stolen merchandise on the black market. 

Two Chicago-area brothers are facing charges related to the fencing of stolen merchandise from their electronics store. The brothers are believed to have knowingly acquired the stolen merchandise, which is important for their successful prosecution. Authorities say that the merchandise was stolen from railcars and then sold to the brothers by thieves. They then repackaged laptops, fitbits, and other electronic devices for sale in other states and countries. 

Transportation of Stolen Goods

There are several statutes that the brothers can be charged under, but in this case, they are only being charged with selling and transporting the stolen goods, not with actually stealing them. You can bet that if federal prosecutors had evidence of the brothers stealing the goods or being involved in the theft, that the charges would have been much higher. That is because theft of interstate commercial goods are prosecuted under The Hobbes Act which is an anti-organized crime and racketeering legislation that allows for enhanced penalties related to the interference of interstate commerce. In this case, the brothers avoided penalties under the Hobbes Act because they did not use force or coercion to acquire the goods.

More defendants have been added to an ongoing prosecution in which several key stakeholders managed to tank a Chicago bank by embezzling millions in funds. The Washington Federal Bank for Savings failed in 2017 after the Office of the Comptroller determined that the bank was insolvent. Four new defendants have been added to the case for the theft of over $23 million in bank money. Do they face the same sorts of penalties as those who rob banks by force? No. In this article, we will discuss the charges they are likely to face.

Why Was the Bank Shut Down?

The bank was shut down after the Office of the Comptroller determined that the bank had $66 million in nonperforming loans. What is a nonperforming loan? Essentially, it is a loan in which the borrower has not made a payment in some time. Hence, the loan has been in default for a while. It is believed that the executives, including the CFO and treasurer, floated themselves major loans and transferred bank funds without the required documentation. Those who were on the receiving end of these funds are facing charges. Those who were in charge of overseeing the bank funds are also facing charges. Those who falsified bank records to ensure that the embezzlement was not discovered are also facing charges.

Amid the George Floyd and Brianna Taylor protests, social unrest plagued America’s largest cities. Chicago was no exception. While some of these protests were going on, others took the opportunity to engage in burglary, theft, and destruction of property. Droves of people went block after block, looting one store after another. Four months after, detectives are still going over hour after hour of surveillance footage to identify individuals against whom they can file charges.

The police force is asking for tips on identifying suspects who were seen on camera looting Chicago stores. At the writing of this article, there have been over 1,300 tips based on over 100 clips of footage excavated from security feeds. Likewise, they have been monitoring online retail platforms like Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, and Facebook marketplace to determine if any of the stolen merchandise was placed for sale online. 

The effort has resulted in the arrests of over 100 people. Most are felony charges related to theft, looting, destruction of property, fencing stolen goods, and weapons charges.

Akeem Kosoko and his brother, who worked as a mailman, had been stealing money from the mail for months before the Trump administration announced it would be sending $1,200 checks to every American. Kosoko, who called the stimulus funds “Trump checks,” knew that this would be a great time to cash in. The federal government, however, caught up with them when they tried to sell several Trump checks for a reported $5,000. Now, the brothers are facing charges of conspiring to steal U.S. mail and stealing government funds.

Kosoko was believed to be among several post office employees who would steal tax refunds, social security checks, and more from the U.S. postal system. The checks would then be exchanged for cash to those who had the ability to anonymously cash them. 

The Anatomy of a Fraud

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