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Articles Tagged with federal crime

Federal authorities have announced the arrest of two individuals who have been accused of embezzling vaccine cards from their place of employment for sale elsewhere. The first defendant is a registered nurse who stole vaccine cards from her employer at the VA Hospital. Another defendant is facing charges that he purchased counterfeit vaccine cards and attempted to sell them on Facebook. 

The nurse is facing charges of theft of government property and embezzlement related to a health care benefit program. The Facebook guy is facing charges for trafficking in counterfeit goods and fraud related to official government documents. The charges have been filed and prosecuted by the U.S. State Attorney’s office meaning that both defendants will face federal charges for their role in distributing fraudulent vaccine cards. 

The government does not take kindly to those defrauding the system. They contend such efforts place everyone at risk and undermine the efforts of health officials.

eBay has become a haven for sports card enthusiasts and other collectors acting as a veritable stock exchange for valuable collectibles. However, not everything that happens on eBay is legal. For example, if you place a bid on your own item or bid up items you have no intention of purchasing, you are committing a felony known as shill bidding. As another example, if you try to sell vaccination cards on eBay, you can be charged with 12 counts of stealing government property.

Chicago pharmacist Tangtang Zhao sold 125 vaccination cards to 11 buyers for about $10 per card. While not quite as lucrative as a Mantle rookie, Zhao pulled in roughly $1,000 from the fraud and will now face charges before a federal magistrate.

When discussing the charges, federal authorities were appalled at the low price Zhao got for the vaccination cards. According to a spokesperson for the FBI, “To put such a small price on the safety of our nation is not only an insult to those who are doing their part in the fight to stop COVID-19, but a federal crime with serious consequences.”

While The Donald himself is not facing charges related to what authorities call an “audacious” tax fraud scheme, his company and his Chief Financial Officer are facing accusations that they failed to report over $1.7 million in earnings. It is unclear whether or not Trump will be charged, but investigators noted that he signed some of the questionable checks. Nonetheless, that comes short of proving fraud, which requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant knowingly deceived the federal government by hiding income streams. It is much more likely that the company’s CFO will take the fall for this.

As part of the scheme, the CFO paid himself and other executives off the books by utilizing lucrative fringe benefits, hence reducing their payroll taxes. Meanwhile, Trump is employing his usual strategy of demonizing the investigation as a “witch hunt” perpetrated by “radical democrats.”

Is This a Witch Hunt?

Chicago Alderman Carrie Austin and her chief of staff are facing federal criminal charges alleging bribery. According to the charges, Austin brokered a deal for a multi-unit real estate development contract. Federal authorities believe that the developer offered Austin home improvements to grease her wheels. Her chief of staff was also offered home improvements. Between them, they acquired new kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, bathroom tiling, new sump pumps, and a brand new HVAC system.

The federal government looks unkindly on businesses offering free services to elected officials, especially when that business went on to win a major contract that was granted with the help of the gift receiver. Austin is the third Chicago alderman to face indictment and the second charged this year. 

On what basis are these charges filed?

Some folks are afraid to fly. Other folks are afraid of COVID-19. One man, who was afraid of both, hid inside O’Hare International Airport for three months to ostensibly avoid the dual-threat of airplanes and COVID. Now he is being charged with felony criminal trespass and misdemeanor theft. A Chicago judge allowed 36-year-old Aditya Singh released on $1,000 bond but ordered him to stay away from the airport.  

Singh’s attorney, a public defender, told the judge that he has no criminal record. At present, it is unclear why Singh came to Chicago or if he has any relatives in the area.

Is Singh a Criminal?

It was the kind of thing that you would see dramatized on television or in a movie. Only it was not dramatic irony, it was one of the most infamous criminal prosecutions in Chicago history. The defendants included notable left-wing celebrities such as Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Bobby Seale, the co-founder of the Black Panthers Party. He and the other defendants were accused of inciting riots during the Democratic National Convention. As soon as the case began, it started heading off the rails in a hurry.

Threatening Letters to Jurors

Hoffman is notable because he was a famous left-wing activist who was known for the civil rights movement and for writing a book called Steal This Book which was heavily anti-capitalist. 

A former Chicago public school staffer has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI concerning the divulging of information related to a custodial contract to one of the bidders. Pedro Soto is accused of leaking bid information to one of the bidders and then lying about the fact to the FBI.

Soto resigned from his position as one of Janice Jackson’s top aides after it was discovered that he leaked deliberations concerning the $1 billion contract to one of the bidders in exchange for “various benefits.” The prosecution was the cherry on top of an investigation into Alderman Daniel Solis who was recorded trading favors on wiretapped conversations. Soto and Solis are linked together by a political operative known as “Individual B” who helped broker deals between the men. This individual has not been charged with any crime and thus their identity remains a secret.

Soto Reaches a Plea Deal

President Trump’s “Operation Legend” has been underway now for about six weeks. In that time, federal agents have charged looters, rioters, and others with 42 felonies (and counting). Surprisingly, however, the feds appear to be targeting felons with illegal weapons. 

The feds, of course, are assuring the media that there are several anti-gang operations happening right now. These operations involve confidential informants, aerial surveillance, and dangerous street work. However, looking at the numbers, the majority of those who have been charged during Operation Legend are felons in possession of weapons. 

Feds Target Man Parked 12 Inches From Curb

24-year-old Darius Young will face charges related to a two-day crime spree during which he held up a UPS driver in broad daylight. Young will face one count of armed robbery, which will be prosecuted under the federal Hobbs Act. 

The UPS driver says that he was approached from behind when a man ordered him to the ground. The man held the gun on him while two of his buddies rifled through the truck and removed packages. They sped off together in a “light-colored” vehicle.

During the robbery, however, a witness who was parking his car noticed the UPS driver face-down on the ground while several men were removing packages from the truck. The witness was able to record some of the robbery on his phone and emailed the evidence to Oak Park police. 

Two men are facing charges for conspiring to burglarize Walgreens during the civil unrest that has been plaguing Chicago since the George Floyd murder. William Lorenz, 40, and Ivan Bermudez, 42, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit burglary of a controlled substance. The two men were arrested by federal agents, meaning that they will be facing federal charges.

Conspiracy Charges

As you may have noticed, the two men are not facing charges for committing burglary, they are facing charges of conspiring to commit burglary. However, the two men were arrested after illegally entering three Walgreens stores that were closed while looting and vandalism were occurring. The complaint accuses the men of entering the stores for the purpose of removing drugs from the shelves. 

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