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Archive for August, 2012

Ex-Hospital Employee Accused of Harassing Patients

August 30th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

In 2010, 52 year old Michelle Morrison was fired from her position of senior account representative at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital in Hoffman Estates. Two years later, authorities have accused her of launching a harassment campaign against patients of the facilities. Morrison has been arrested and charged with three counts of forgery. Her bail was set at $50,000.

CBS Chicago reported that Morrison stole copies of confidential patient records, as well as hospital stationary, when she was fired. Police say that between February of 2011 and June of this year, she sent six letters to patients, threatening to expose their psychiatric information and treatment to their family and friends. She is also alleged to have told these patients that the electroshock therapy they received didn’t work and that it was medically recommended that they have frontal lobotomies.

Police claim Morrison has admitted writing the letters and told them her reason for sending them to patients was to embarrass the hospital because they had fired her. The hospital has stated that Morrison did not have any clinical interaction with patients while she was employed at the hospital.

During a search of Morrison’s home, more paperwork was recovered which could lead to additional charges. Forgery in Illinois is a Class 3 felony and Morrison faces a possible prison term of up to five years for each count if found guilty. If you are accused of a white collar crime or a felony, you need to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Cook County, Illinois.

Woman Charged with First-Degree Murder After Domestic Dispute

August 27th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Nora P. Peterson, 34, has been charged with first degree murder in the death of her live-in boyfriend, 55-year-old Michael N. Mielczarek. Peterson, who lives in Eligin, is accused of striking the victim in the head with several items, including a frying pan. Police say the blows caused Eligin to fall and strike his head on the floor. If you or someone you know is involved in domestic violence, contact a Lake County domestic violence attorney to prevent the situation from escalating. A lawyer can help you with restraining orders, orders of protection, pressing charges or defending yourself against accusations.

The alleged attack occurred during a domestic dispute. Peterson called 911 when she realized that Mielczarek was not breathing. He was transferred by ambulance to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy was performed and cause of death was determined to be by blunt force trauma to the head.

The Courier-News reports that Peterson’s bail has been set at $750,000 on the murder charge. Illinois defines first-degree murder as the killing of an individual with the following criterion:

  • There is an intention to kill or do great bodily harm to an individual or knows that such acts will cause death.
  • Knowing such acts create a strong probability of death or great bodily harm.
  • Attempting or committing a forcible felony, other than second degree murder.

If someone is found guilty of first-degree murder in the state of Illinois, the punishment is a minimum of 20 years in prison up to a maximum of life. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer is your best bet for avoiding conviction or minimizing your sentence. There is also the possibility of the death penalty. Lesser degrees of murder charges include second degree, involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide.  If you have been charged with any kind of serious crime, you need an experienced Lake County criminal defense attorney on your side.

Attempted Murder Suspect Extradited to Chicago After 18 Years

August 24th, 2012 at 1:18 pm

According to a recent Chicago Tribune article, the Chicago Police Department has succeeded in extraditing 55-year-old Jose Hernandez Saldana from California on attempted murder charges from 1994. Saldana is currently being held in the Cook County Jail without bond.

On September 15, 1994, Saldana allegedly shot Carlos Munoz at the home of Saldana’s estranged wife, who had a protection order against Saldana. After fingerprints tied Saldana to the attempted murder, an arrest warrant was issued for Saldana, but he fled before appearing in court. State and federal authorities at the time were told that Saldana had fled Chicago for his native Mexico, and they closed Saldana’s fugitive case in January, 1996, when investigators were unable to locate him there.

In May, 2012, however, the Area South Cold Case squad of the Chicago Police Department began to review the case, and a few months later, asked the FBI to reopen its fugitive investigation of Saldana. Investigators had learned that Saldana’s son had been arrested in California and his vehicle impounded. After the vehicle was released to a man named Carlos Rosalio Gonzalez, investigators compared the fingerprints on file for Gonzalez’s California driver’s license to Saldana’s fingerprints, and that they matched. Based on this information, Saldana was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution in U.S. District Court in Chicago on July 19, 2012, and arrested a day later in Lawndale, CA. After being held by the Los Angeles Police Department for some time, Saldana was extradited to Chicago.

Not only does Saldana face serious state criminal charges of attempted murder, but he also is now facing federal criminal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Convictions on either or both of these charges could result in significant prison time, as well as other adverse consequences. However, a person in Saldana’s position would definitely benefit from a strong defense.

Especially in a case such as this, when so many years have passed, evidence is old, witnesses may have difficulty remembering or cannot be located, and other similar problems may arise with the prosecution’s case. An experienced and aggressive Cook County criminal defense attorney can be key to avoiding a criminal conviction or lessening the punishment received for any conviction.

Do you invite criminal summons on failing to pay off a debt?

August 21st, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Millions of consumers in the US suffered job loss as well as wage deduction, especially after the recent economic meltdown. People fail to pay back their bills on time as they undergo financial crisis. When they default on credit card payment, the accruing high interest on the principal balance makes it unaffordable to pay off. Therefore, these debt stricken consumers usually negotiate settlement with the creditors or hire services of a debt management company to get rid of debt.

Yes, you may have heard it right that many serious issues can emerge if you fail to pay off the debt. However, not paying off the debt may not invite criminal summon unless the debt is a result of criminal fraud. Basically, disputes regarding debts are treated as civil matter with the creditors in the civil court.

Complete information on summon as well as complaint:

When the creditors sue the debtor in the court, then the lawsuit for debt becomes official. You may receive summon from the court when the creditor files a lawsuit in the court. A summon is a legal notice of a lawsuit from the court and complaint is an actual lawsuit filed with the court. You may receive the paper document at home, places of employment or at other public location. The summons provides instruction related to the lawsuit, for instance, appearing before the court for hearing or filing a written reply.

Difference between civil summon and criminal summon:

The process of treating a lawsuit is the basic difference of civil summons and criminal summons. A person can be put behind bars temporarily in case of criminal summons. However, in a civil lawsuit a person is not taken to jail unless he is associated with some fraud. A credit card company generally does not file a lawsuit against the borrower in order to retrieve the owed amount. A lawsuit is a last resort for the debt collectors if they are unable to retrieve the owed amount.

An overview on default judgments:

If you receive a lawsuit and you fail to appear for court hearing, then the judgment may be in favor of the debt collectors. In this situation, the judge may involuntarily grant a default judgment to the debt collector.If your debt collectors got a default judgment, then you are required to pay a specific amount of money for the full balance of the debt and additional court costs as well as attorney’s fees.

A complete knowhow on wage garnishment:

If a court judgment is in favor of the debt collectors and it may allow them to move on to bank or wage garnishment. In case the debt collectors allowed for bank garnishment, the debt collector may get full access to the borrower’s checking account. Wage garnishment compels the employers to deduct money from your paycheck and send it to the debt collector.Therefore, hire a legal advisor to avoid further complication and for more information on criminal summons as well as civil summons.

In any case, if you are facing legal trouble, a qualified criminal defense lawyer near Chicago can make all the difference. Contact our criminal defense attorneys today.

Two Juveniles Arrested for Burglarizing Affluent Neighborhood

August 18th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Last Friday August 10th, two young boys were taken into custody after a neighbor noticed a burglary in process.  It was around 12:40 that the police in Naperville were called to the 3500 block of Scottsdale Circle.  Scottsdale Circle is south of the golf course of the well-off neighborhood of White Eagle.

The homeowner who made this discovery was not comfortable waiting for the police to appear.  This good-neighbor chased and detained the vagrants but wasn’t able to hold them long enough to be taken into custody.  Although the two escaped his grasp, he was able to provide a description that ultimately brought in the kids.

It took less than an hour for the Naperville police to call for outside assistance.  They contacted the Aurora police and the DuPage County sheriff who provided more manpower and K-9 units.  With that added help, the chase only lasted 30 more minutes until both the suspects were detained around 1:50 pm.  One was on Schoger Road while the other was found near Bay Harbour Road in Naperville.  Names have not been released due to the age of those apprehended.

Those kids under 17 that commit crimes in Illinois are often tried as juveniles barring five specific crimes which require charges to be brought as an adult.  Yet, juveniles are required to retain the services of lawyers to defend their cases.  If your child has been a part of a dangerous crime that has them in police custody, do not wait to contact an experienced Chicago juvenile crime attorney.

Woman Who Killed Boy in Car Accident Released on Bond

August 15th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

A Skokie woman involved in a car accident in May was released on bond on August 9th after serving almost three months in Cook County jail.  The domino effect car accident ended up killing an 8-year-old named Carter Vo while he was riding his bicycle.  The woman was charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence resulting in death, and misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs because she was under the influence of marijuana and other drugs at the time of the accident.

Hanin Goma, of Skokie was driving away from her cashier’s job at the Grecian Kitchen and traveling near the intersection of St. Louis Avenue and Main Street.  The 23 year old turned onto Main Street and hit an eastbound Ford Van.  The force of the accident turned Goma’s car around where it struck the second grader and pushed him into a parked car.  Later when she was taken to the Skokie Hospital, blood tests showed marijuana and amphetamines in her system.

She plead not guilty to the charges and was being held on a $250,000 bond under the strict guidelines that if she was released, she would surrender her passport and submit to weekly drug testing.  This was partially due to the spotty criminal history in Goma’s past which includes misdemeanor charges of unlawful possession of cannabis, criminal damage to property, shoplifting, and multiple moving violations from the last 5 years.

Goma’s defense attorney had been arguing for the reduction of her bond consistent with her families’ wishes. For cases with multiple criminal charges, negotiations need to take place inside and outside of the courtroom.  If you or a loved one are facing traffic, drug, DUI or any other charges, then do not hesitate to reach out to a talented criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows.

Bank Manager Accused of Stealing Elderly Customer’s Money

August 12th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

A six month police investigation has resulted in the arrest of 56 year old Lynn Pranga, a bank manager at Inland Bank’s Geneva branch. Pranga, who also serves on the Geneva Women in Business committee of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, has been charged with financially exploiting an elderly person, forgery and theft. The alleged crime occurred when she was a bank manager at the St.Charlesbranch of MB Financial Bank.

According to a report in the Daily Herald, an 81 year old customer at MB Financial complained to the bank that a five year certificate of deposit that he held there had been changed to a one year certificate and the balance was less than what he had originally deposited. An investigation by the bank revealed that between June 2009 and June 2011, $20,000 from that account, as well as two other accounts the customer had with the bank, had been withdrawn by former branch manager Pranga.

The investigation also revealed a check that Pranga had forged for $3,500, payable to MetLife Mortgage on June 24, 2009. MetLife Mortgage had filed a foreclosure suit against Pranga in December 2011, which was dismissed in June.

The charges and arrest warrant were issued through the Kane County State’s Attorney office, which also set bail at $30,000. Pranga turned herself into police and was released on $3,000 cash bond. If convicted, Pranga faces 3 to 7 years in prison on both the exploitation and theft charges, and 2 to 5 years on the forgery charge.

If you are accused of a felony, make sure you consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney or you could be convicted and sent to prison. Forgery and theft are serious charges, and the consequences for a conviction can affect you for the rest of your life. Our criminal defense lawyers in Rolling Meadows are here to provide legal advice to help you make the best decision for you.

Man Charged in Chicago and Montana for Stalking and Cyber-stalking Teen

August 10th, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Robert Parelius, 56, of Bozeman, Montana, faces multiple charges in both his hometown and in Chicago for allegedly stalking a Chicago teenager for over a year. In Montana he was arrested and charged with sexually soliciting two boys, ages 13 and 15, who live in Chicago. He was ordered held on $50,000 bail.

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, prosecutors told the court that the Chicago Police Department contacted the Bozeman Police Department in April, seeking their assistance in locating Parelius, who they alleged had been making phone calls and sexually soliciting the two young boys. When Bozeman Police confronted him, Parelius admitted that he had made the calls, as well as contacting three other boys.

Police reports say that Parelius, who moved to Montana from Chicago last year, also admitted that after seeing the boys playing in a park, he researched to find out who they were and where they lived. During Parelius’ arrest, police confiscated nude pictures of young boys and girls, as well as rosters for junior football teams from the Bozeman and Belgrade Montana areas, as well as the Chicago area.

A few days later, Parelius was in a Chicago courtroom. Prosecutors there told the judge that after Parelius ran into the boy at a local 7-Eleven in May 2011, he tracked down the boy’s name and address. He began calling the boy’s home, saying he was a friend. The Chicago Tribune reported that the calls and messages began to escalate in March, with Parelius leaving voice mail messages that he knew where the boy lived, which school he attended and where the two of them could meet up. His bail in Chicago was set at $1 million.

If convicted, Parelius faces up to 100 years in prison. Stalking and cyber-stalking are very serious crimes. If you are accused of stalking, consult with an experienced criminal attorney in Cook County who can defend your rights.

Man Held for Role in Fatal Fire in Lombard, IL

August 4th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Todd Mandoline from Villa Park was asked to leave his ex-girlfriend’s birthday party on Saturday, July 22nd.  At some point during the night, Mandoline walked nearly two miles back to the Lombard house, in order to speak to Paula Morgan early on Sunday morning.  After trading text messages for a while, Morgan stopped answering Mandoline’s text and he became enraged.  Mandoline is now being charged with setting the fire that was responsible for killing Morgan one day before her 25th birthday.

Obviously not pleased with the lack of response from Morgan for a couple of hours, Mandoline acted in the heat of the moment.  “The defendant became enraged, picked up a piece of paper, twisted it up, put it in the gas tank of the victim’s vehicle parked in the driveway and took a lighter and set it on fire,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “The whole car was engulfed in flames. Unfortunately, the fire spread to the home as well.”  The fire spread from the car, then to the attached garage, and then to the home of Paula Morgan and her 6 year old son.

Luckily, Morgan’s son heard a smoke detector alarm and was able to escape from the blaze.  His mother, Morgan, and an acquaintance named Jason Cassidy were trapped on the second floor of the home.  When firefighters were able to remove Cassidy and Morgan from the embers, Morgan had died from smoke inhalation and Cassidy was in critical condition.  He was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood where he remains in critical but stable condition.

Todd Mandoline now faces a multitude of charges, one count of murder in the first degree, two counts of aggravated arson, one count of arson, and one count of criminal damage to property.  While he didn’t remain on the scene after setting the fatal fire, he did admit to starting it.  This case is reminiscent of harassment or stalking which escalated into a fire which devastated many lives.  With any criminal charges, it is important to receive the best legal advice possible from a skilled criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows.

Illinois Police Discover Massive Auto Theft Ring

August 1st, 2012 at 12:00 pm

According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, authorities in Illinois reported on Monday July 30th that they broke up a large theft ring.  This ring was responsible for the theft of over 200 high end vehicles worth nearly $2.5 million.  The group targeted luxury cars such as Cadillacs, BMWs, Land Rovers and Mercedes, which they sold for a small percentage of their value on websites such as Craigslist.

A total of 21 people have been arrested to this point in time.  They live primarily on the South Side of Chicago and in the south suburbs and some are related to each other.  A ringleader of the group named Dominique Henley was convicted of identity theft, forgery, theft by deception and aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle.  He was sentenced to eight years in jail.  His father was also arrested but was only sentenced to serve 30 months of probation.

The thieves would dress up as transport workers to pick up new cars from dealerships in Cook, DuPage, Will and Lake Counties.  Often these robbers, some of whom were licensed to transport cars for dealerships, would load up a trailer with up to eight cars.   Another scam involved using a stolen social security number to buy a car on credit.  Then they would swap the vehicle identification numbers for the same make and model cars from Canada.  With that new information, they would draft the fraudulent documents necessary to transfer the title to Illinois.  The quality of paper used for the foreign titles is what initiated the 10 month investigation.

Authorities have noted that auto theft has become more and more sophisticated.  This ring involved not just the theft of vehicles but fraudulent activities such as identity theft, forgery and loan fraud.  As crimes are becoming more intricate, the laws and agencies that police them follow suit.  If you have been accused of white collar crimes or thefts of property, please contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Chicago today.

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