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Archive for May, 2012

Lottery Ticket Isn’t a Winner After All

May 29th, 2012 at 11:38 am

Leandria Williams showed up at the Des Plaines lottery claim office on April 4 with what appeared to be a winning ticket for the record $656 million Mega Millions lottery that was drawn March 30. But instead of walking away with millions, Williams ended up posting $10,000 for bail.

Even though the ticket had all the winning numbers, records showed that none of the three winning tickets were purchased in the Chicago area. Williams lives in Elgin. Lottery records show that Willams’ ticket was purchased shortly after 10:00 p.m.on March 30; eight minutes after the winning numbers were drawn. She also turned in a false email receipt, altered to make it appear that the ticket had been purchased prior to the drawing.

Officials with the lottery told Williams she would need to fill out a claim form that would need to be sent to Springfield for verification. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, once Williams filled out the form and submitted her documents, an investigator from the lottery department contacted the Cook County sheriff’s office.

Williams again met with lottery officials on April 16, but this time police were also present. She was arrested and initially charged with wire fraud for falsifying documents. The sheriff’s office has since added attempted theft and forgery to the charges. Officials have said that Williams’ con was the first in Illinois lottery history.

If she is found guilty of these charges, Williams will have felony convictions on her record. If you are arrested and charged with any kind of crime, especially a crime with such serious potential consequences, contact an experienced Cook County attorney to represent you.

Hoffman Estates Man to Serve 35 Years for Sexual Assault

May 28th, 2012 at 3:00 am

According to Triblocal, a 45 year old man from Hoffman Estates was sent to jail on Monday May, 21. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison on charges of sexually assaulting numerous boys. He was also charged with videotaping many boys.

John Agresta appeared in the Cook County Circuit Court in Rolling Meadows for his hearing. He was charged not only with criminal sexual assault but with aggravated child pornography, as well. According to reports, this is not the only time Agresta has been charged with sexual crimes. He is also facing charges very similar to these in Kendall County.

According to the 4 boys Agresta sexually assaulted and videotaped, most of the sexual acts took place in Agresta’s house. He got away with his crimes for years until one of his victims finally spoke up. A 12 year old boy that Agresta had sexually assaulted and had videotaped told police what had been occurring with Agresta. Police forces then received a warrant to search his home and what they found may surprise many people. Hidden in his house at least 75 DVDs. Each of these DVDS contained sexual images of young boys. Along with these DVDs was footage from a hidden camera that Agresta had placed in his bathroom.

All of these crimes occurred in 2001 and they boys were not even 12 years old. Agresta found his victims by targeting children of trusting family friends. He was arrested for his crimes in July of 2011. He will serve 25 years in prison for the sexual assault charges and 10 years for the child pornography charges.

The state of Chicago takes sex crimes very seriously. If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a sex crime, you will want to contact a professional attorney to handle your case.

Teen Charged with Aggravated Arson in Schaumburg High School Fire

May 27th, 2012 at 11:35 am

The Chicago Tribune reported that on May 11, 2012, Schaumburg High School was evacuated after a fire began in a storage area of the school’s woodshop. A school custodian was able to put out the fire using a fire extinguisher before fire crews arrived on the scene. There were no injuries, and students returned to classes after about 30 minutes.

Fire officials estimate the damage to be less than $2,000. Officials also confirmed that the fire was intentionally set, and at the time of the article, were continuing to investigate the matter. All repairs were finished in time for students to return to class the following Monday morning.

According to the Tribune in a related story three days later, a 15-year-old Hanover Park boy was charged with aggravated arson in a Cook County juvenile court. Authorities have released no motive for the boy setting the fire, or details about how it might have been started.

Even juvenile criminal charges can be serious, especially when an aggravated crime such as arson has occurred, which had the potential to harm many other people, as well as cause significant property damage. The juvenile court system works differently than the regular court system, and the penalties may be quite different. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can help you understand this and provide legal advice on how to avoid a conviction and the negative consequences that come with it.

As an accused juvenile or the parent or guardian of an accused juvenile in the Chicago area, you need the assistance of an experienced Rolling Meadows, Illinois criminal defense attorney who is accustomed to handling cases in juvenile court. These cases require a unique knowledge of criminal law in the context of the juvenile court system, as well as an understanding of how the court process operates in those courts.

Elk Grove Village Man Pleads Guilty to Theft by Deception and Fraud

May 25th, 2012 at 10:39 am

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that a former money manager who is already serving an eight-year sentence for securities fraud pled guilty in a DuPage County court to theft by deception over $500,000, mail fraud, wire fraud, and securities fraud. Kevin Carney operated a Ponzi scheme from January, 2007 to October, 2008, in which he obtained over $17 million from investors by promising them a 20% monthly return on their investments. The victims collectively lost over $10 million in the scheme, as Carney paid off earlier investors with money invested by later victims.

As a result of his guilty plea, Carney received a 13-year sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections and was ordered to pay $10.2 million in restitution to over 300 victims of his fraudulent money management scheme.

Carney is currently serving an eight year sentence for a previous conviction, which involved a similar scam. The separate case in Cook County resulted in his conviction on charges of securities fraud and financial exploitation of an elderly person. This took place after October of 2008.

Unfortunately, in today’s faltering economy, the temptation for investors seeking a quick return and money managers seeking to make an instant profit can be overwhelming. Due to these factors, more and more cases of investment fraud and other fraudulent financial schemes have arisen, many of which involve millions of dollars in losses for victims.

Particularly at this high of a level of financial fraud, the penalties can be quite severe. If you find yourself charged with or suspected of such a crime, it is essential that you contact a qualified Cook County criminal defense attorney to assist you. With the help of a criminal defense lawyer, you can begin building the defense necessary to avoid the serious consequences that a criminal conviction can bring.

Child Killed in Skokie Traffic Tragedy

May 23rd, 2012 at 2:08 am

One Skokie family will never be the same. Nhu Vo remembered his son, Carter Vo, while standing in front of the memorial erected to mourn his death. The 8-year-old was killed at the corner of Main Street and St. Louis Avenue as a result of a chain reaction accident on Monday afternoon. The accident ended with a vehicle striking the boy on the sidewalk.

Carter was a very smart second grade student that attended Madison Elementary School in Skokie. He aspired to be an engineer and had even recently thought of being a fighter pilot, according to his father.

Carter was pronounced dead about four hours after the accident. He died of multiple trauma to the head and his death was ruled an accident by the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The intersection is controlled by two-way stop signs and according to police, village engineers are going to review possible safety issues at the intersection. Residents have complained about the danger of the stretch of road between Crawford Avenue and McCormick Boulevard for several years. The area of issue is about one mile long and the speed limit is 30 miles per hour. Many residents report that the speed limit is not followed most times.

The Vo family is originally from Vietnam and has resided in the village of Skokie for approximately 10 years. Private funeral services are scheduled for Carter on Wednesday. Carter’s classmates are making cards for the grieving family.

There have been no charges filed as of yet in this case.

Dangerous intersections and driving conditions are not the ideal way of travel for any driver. However, it is important to remember that even the most ill designed roadways do not absolve the driver from responsibility of safely operating their vehicles.

If you find yourself in a situation where your actions have in some way caused a traffic accident or injury, be sure to consult with a Chicago traffic attorney.

Nothing Routine About this Traffic Stop

May 22nd, 2012 at 11:32 pm

When two Lakeshore deputies conducted a routine traffic stop Saturday night, they discovered a missing person, a loaded gun and crack cocaine. The deputies stopped the car, a 1998 Isuzu, near Grand Avenue and Brookside Drive in Gurnee.

The operator of the car, Samuel Alcock, 48, of the 200 block of West Street in Waukegan, was found to be driving with a suspended license. He also did not have the vehicle insured.

One of Alcock’s passengers, Gordon L. Johnson, 45, of the 1200 block of Grove Street in North Chicago, is on parole for a homicide and deputies found crack cocaine in his possession.

The deputies also discovered a female, who had been reported missing and endangered from the Fox Lake area, in the vehicle. Her age has not been released by authorities.

All three vehicle occupants were taken into custody. The police then searched the vehicle and discovered a loaded handgun, located on the front passenger floor, near where Johnson had been sitting.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Alcock was charged with driving with a suspended license and driving with no insurance. He was released on a personal recognizance bond. Johnson was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was ordered held on $40,000 and his next court date is scheduled for May 8.

Depending on the circumstances, a routine traffic stop can escalate into very serious charges for both drivers and passengers. If you find yourself in a situation like this, consult with an experienced Chicago traffic attorney to find out what your rights are.

West Side Man Charged with Felony Theft

May 19th, 2012 at 11:04 am

According to the Chicago Tribune, law enforcement officials executing a search warrant for guns in a West Side home found over $100,000 of stolen electronics and other goods, including computer software, bicycles, DJ equipment, construction equipment, and musical instruments. Police also found a handgun, three shotguns, and three rifles in the residence. As a result, 50-year-old homeowner Willie Sutton was arrested and charged with several counts of unlawful usage of a weapon and possession of firearms, failing to register firearms, failure to have a valid FOID card, and felony theft. The investigation was coordinated by the Chicago Police Department’s Narcotics Division, bureau of organized crime, and tactical officers

Police are currently displaying the stolen goods at the Chicago Police Department’s Austin District station and using the media in an attempt to have the public identify the owners of the obviously stolen goods. Alleged victims of the thefts are encouraged to contact the Chicago Police Department in order to view the stolen items.

Theft charges in the state of Illinois can be extremely serious, especially when the value of the items involved in the alleged theft is substantial. If you are convicted of theft, you could face jail time, fines, restitution, and other serious penalties. Additionally, you may have a permanent criminal history that you will have to disclose to employers for the rest of your life.

If you or a loved one has been accused of theft or a theft-related crime, you must contact a

Chicago area criminal defense attorney immediately so that you can prepare the best defense to these charges, and get the advice that will be crucial to you in this matter.

Volunteer Treasurer Receives Three Years in Prison for Stealing From Elmhurst Church

May 9th, 2012 at 11:51 am

DuPage County Judge Kathryn Creswell sentenced 54-year-old Robert Drefs to three years in prison for stealing $54,000 in funds from Messiah Lutheran Church, a small Elmhurst church, while serving as a volunteer treasurer. Drefs committed the thefts between 2008 and 2010, and forged signatures on various checks that he wrote to a now-defunct business at which he used to be employed. As a result of the thefts, the pastor and his family lost medical insurance coverage, other employees’ wages went unpaid, and other church bills fell behind. Meanwhile, Drefs continued to plead with congregation members for more money to pay the church’s operating expenses.

Drefs pled guilty to felony theft charges in a plea agreement deal that capped his potential sentence to three and one-half years. Judge Creswell gave Drefs near the maximum sentence, stating that she believed that Drefs had acted purposely to cover up his thefts.

Unfortunately, people in positions that handle money are often tempted to use the money for their own purposes, assuming that the losses will go unnoticed. Theft charges are often the result of these situations. A theft conviction can impact a person’s life for years, in that the potential penalties include a permanent criminal history, fines, restitution for the amount stolen, and jail time. As a result, it is essential to contact a qualified Skokie, Illinois criminal defense attorney for advice as soon as possible in order to prepare a defense to any criminal charges.

DuPage County Judge Sentences Man to Six Years for Fatal DUI Crash

May 7th, 2012 at 10:42 am

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a DuPage County Judge recently sentenced 40-year-old Jeffrey Fisher to six years in prison for the 2011 drunk driving accident that killed his girlfriend, 30-year-old Eva Meyers of Carol Stream. With a .15 blood-alcohol level at 3:00 a.m. on July 3, 2011, Fisher drove his pickup truck through the warning gates at an Itasca railroad crossing, where he struck a freight train traveling at about 40 miles per hour. In addition to his intoxication, Fisher was driving on a suspended license at the time of the accident. While Fisher could have received a maximum 10-year prison sentence on an aggravated DUI charge, he pled guilty to the charge and received only six years.

The consequences of driving while intoxicated can be extremely serious for all parties involved. Not only can you face severe criminal penalties for illegal behavior, but you risk your life, the life of any passengers, and the lives of other drivers and pedestrians.

Like Jeffrey Fisher, though, we are human and we all make mistakes. If you are charged with DUI or a related crime, you should immediately contact an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney for help with your case. Your lawyer may be able to uncover a legitimate defense on your behalf, or find errors in police work that can result in the lessening of the charges against you, or even dismissal of the DUI charges altogether. Call our office today for a thorough evaluation of your case, and see what we can do for you.


Chicago Police Arrest 12 in Satan Disciple Gang Investigation

May 5th, 2012 at 9:39 pm

According to a recent Chicago Tribune article, law enforcement officials have charged 12 people with various firearm and drug charges following a three-year investigation in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. The joint investigation by the FBI and Chicago Police, called “Operation Devil’s Playground,” was focused on drug and gun trafficking in the Satan Disciple gang. The drugs involved reportedly were cocaine and methamphetamine. During the arrests, police recovered 11 guns and over $15,000 in cash.


Federal authorities named five of the 12 people arrested in federal criminal complaints, as well as a sixth man who is still at large. Two of the defendants face prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life, two more face 10-year sentences, and another defendant faces a 20-year sentence. The other people arrested were charged with state criminal law violations.

While this story is an extreme example of the criminal charges that can result from drug usage, many Chicagoans suffer from drug dependency that eventually gets them into trouble with the law. With the current “war on drugs” in full force, you must take any drug charges seriously from the minute you are charged. The penalties for a drug conviction are severe, and can negatively affect your family, your job, your freedom, and your future.

Should you or a loved one be charged with a drug crime, you should immediately contact a top Chicago, Illinois drug crime defense attorney for assistance. Do not risk a criminal conviction that may follow you for the rest of your life; enlist the help of an experienced drug charge defense lawyer who may be able to successfully defend you against these serious criminal charges.

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