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Archive for the ‘news’ tag

Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Pleads Guilty to Fraud

March 6th, 2013 at 8:00 am

American FlagIn a surprising turn of events, Jesse Jackson Jr. went from a man with huge political aspirations to someone who seems to have lost control.  The Democratic Representative from Chicago stepped down recently while being investigated and dealing with health issues.  He pleaded guilty to one felony fraud charge on Wednesday February 20th to secure a plea deal.  He was charged with fraud for using $750,000 in campaign money to pay for his lavish living expenses.

The court filed a 22 page report which outlines the spending habits of a politician who many thought would one day run for Mayor in Chicago or President of the US.  It started when Jesse opened a campaign account and then withdrew nearly $45,000 to purchase a Rolex watch.    He went on to purchase “high-end electronic items, collector’s items, clothing, food and supplies for daily consumption, movie tickets, health club dates, personal travel, and personal dining expenses,” according to the prosecution.

The details of his plea agreement allow his punishment range to be between 46 to 57 months in prison.  Though, it is not set in stone because both the defense and prosecution can influence the sentencing of the case.  The defense will urge the judge to consider probation given Jesse’s recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Jesse’s wife Sandi has also been charged with assisting the cover-up of this fraud.  Sandi was formerly an alderman for the city of Chicago.  She pleaded guilty of failing to report that money from her aldermanic campaign was used as personal income also for failing to report this income on her tax return.  Her possible sentencing will be in the range of 1 to 2 years in prison.

What was once a promising career in politics for the Jackson may now be forever damaged.  White collar crimes can ruin reputations and result in jail time.  If you have been charged with any white collar crime, then it is important to receive legal guidance.  Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows today.

Cases Dropped Involving Schaumburg Police Officers

February 11th, 2013 at 8:00 am

schaumburg policeA drug bust of a storage locker in Carol Stream has led to further arrests of police officers from Schaumburg.  The storage locker belonged to an informant who worked with the police.  When he was taken into custody, he had a very interesting story to tell.  He claimed that the police were supplying him with drugs seized from other drug dealers to sell on the streets.

The Carol Stream police investigated further and found that this was true.  DEA agents arrested the cops outside of the Woodfield Mall on January 16th.  John Cichy, Matthew Hudak and Terrance O’Brien were all tactical officers in the division that deals with drugs, gangs and other issues that require undercover work.

The police officers took drugs like marijuana, cocaine and cash from legitimate busts to make more money.  Now the men are facing a multitude of felony charges which could mean decades in prison.  The drug charges include manufacturing and delivering of illegal drugs, official misconduct, armed violence, theft, and criminal drug conspiracy.

Since these officers were arrested, Cook County prosecutors have dropped three felony drug charges against defendants who were arrested by the trio.  The state’s attorney has also decided that out of 19 cases that the officers worked on, 15 will be dumped.  It is assumed that the testimony of these officers would not hold up in court.

These people benefited from the crimes of their arresting officers.  It is not typical to have this happen, but the constitutionality of the arrest is something that legal professionals look at to limit the use of evidence.  Contact an experienced drug crime lawyer in Rolling Meadows who can review the particulars of your arrest.

Man Charged with Animal Cruelty Refuses to Give up Dogs

January 30th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Man Charged with Animal CrueltyAccording to a report by 89 WLS, Jarcivius Taylor refuses to give up the dogs that he has been accused of abusing. The dogs were found to be severely emaciated and malnourished. Police believe that the dogs were being used in an underground dog fighting ring.

According to law enforcement, they were given an anonymous tip by a neighbor reporting that he was abusing animals at his residence. Upon the execution of a search warrant, they found two severely injured dogs. There was one female and one male dog who both had what were described as gruesome injuries. Both of them had deformed front legs, wounds that were still open and a myriad of old scars. All of these injuries are indicative of dog fighting. The female dog was extremely underweight and doctors stated that she showed signs of overbreeding. Her paws were stained by urine which proves that she was forced to stand in her own filth for extended periods of time. She is in such bad shape that she may need to be euthanized.

Law enforcement also found several illegal firearms, cocaine, marijuana and cash. Even with the overwhelming evidence against him, he refuses to give up the dogs to the authorities. He is facing charges of aggravated animal cruelty as well as various drug and gun charges.

If you find yourself being charged with misdemeanor or felony charges, you need to retain an aggressive and experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney right away. Your attorney will ensure that your case is handled correctly and that your case is presented to the court in the best way possible. Do not let the police or prosecution lead you to believe that you do not have a chance to win the case at all. In most cases, even with overwhelming evidence, your attorney can make a deal with the prosecuting attorneys.

Man Arrested after Accidentally Discharging Gun at Son

October 29th, 2012 at 8:00 am

In the evening of Saturday, October 20th, a father and son argued about a handgun.  The gun itself belonged to the father, a convicted felon, named Charles Johnson.    According to police reports, Johnson had originally hidden the gun in his garage but it had gone missing nearly 6 months ago.  The problem arose when his 17-year-old son left the gun on his desk in his room.  The confrontation took a turn for the worse as the two started to wrestle for control of the weapon.

This occurred at their home near the 1300 block of West Estes Avenue in the Rodgers Park neighborhood of Chicago.  “It appears the son had (the gun) and he was trying to take it away from him,” Police News Affairs officer Robert Perez reported. “It discharged in the process.”  The teenager was shot in the head by his father’s gun.  The wound was located around his right check.  He is currently in critical condition as late as Monday morning after the event.  He is being treated at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston.

Due to the fact that Johnson was a convicted felon, he is not allowed to own a handgun.  As such, he was charged with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon.  He was scheduled to appear in bond court in Cook County on Monday to hear about his charges.  Unfortunately for Johnson, his attempt to protect his son ended up harming him and landing him in custody.  To ensure the most favorable outcome of any unsavory crime, get the legal help that will make the difference.  Contact a credible criminal defense attorney in Cook County today to review the specifics of your case.

Man Warming His Pot Plants Alerts Police of his Crimes

October 26th, 2012 at 8:00 am

On October 6th, a pot farmer living in Aurora was taken into custody.  He was trying to keep his pot plants warm after midnight on that Saturday night by creating two huge bonfires.  His efforts to save his pot from the cold only helped to have them seized.  These blazes alerted the local police to possible illegal activities and ended up getting Daniel Selmon, 23, arrested for his illegal plants.

A police officer for the city of Aurora was on his nightly patrol when he saw the two bonfires near the 800 block of Robert Street around 2:45 on Saturday morning.  Upon investigating these illegal fires, the officer came to find what looked like three large marijuana plants growing in the corner of the yard.  When the police officer confiscated the plants, they found it to weigh nearly seven pounds total.  The police have not declared what the street value is for such a large amount of pot.

Due to this discovery, Selmon was charged with felony possession of cannabis as well as a misdemeanor charge for manufacturing marijuana plants.  The normal punishment for between 2,000 and 5,000 grams of marijuana is between 3 to 7 years and a fine of up to $25,000.  Manufacturing less than 5 plants is only a misdemeanor charge and is punishable by one year in jail.  Drug charges, especially of this magnitude are very serious offenses.  Contact an experienced drug crime defense attorney in Cook County today to start reviewing your case and possible outcomes which you can work towards.

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.

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.

Sentences for Juvenile Offenders at Issue in Upcoming Supreme Court Hearings

March 30th, 2012 at 11:41 pm

There are currently at least 100 Illinois inmates who were sentenced to life in prison without a chance for parole for crimes they committed while under the age of 18. The issue of life sentences for juvenile offenders is a controversial one nationwide, and the United States Supreme Court will soon hear two cases involving 14-year-old offenders that hinge on the issue of whether or not it’s right for those convicted of some juvenile crimes to face life in prison without parole.

A recent Chicago Tribune article points to the case of a man named Adolfo Davis. At the age of 14, Davis accompanied fellow gang members on what he expected to be a robbery, but that ended up with two men dead. Although Davis never fired a shot, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In fact, Illinois law allows for youth as young as age 13 to receive a life sentence for murder, and those age 15 or older can be sentenced to life in prison with no parole for murders for which they only drove the getaway car or acted as a lookout.

Although the Supreme Court has already mandated that only murders committed by juveniles can result in this sentence (and has ruled out the death penalty for juvenile offenders,) advocates say that this harsh sentence isn’t fair for someone so young, and that juvenile offenders are actually among the most likely to rehabilitate if given the proper treatment.

Even less serious juvenile crimes such as theft or drug charges can have devastating consequences. If you or someone you love has been charged with a juvenile offense in Illinois, you’ll need the services of a skilled and experienced Cook County juvenile crime lawyer.

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Chicago Man Charged with Forgery

March 12th, 2012 at 2:45 am

Forgery is just one of illegal actions known as white-collar crimes. In general, white collar crimes are based upon deceit (versus force or violence) and are usually conducted by professionals, businesspeople, government officials, and others not typically thought of as criminals.

Illinois law provides a detailed definition of forgery, but ultimately, the term describes an instance where someone unlawfully uses another person’s signature, or marks or alters a document (or knowingly delivers or possesses the document) with the intent to defraud. A forgery conviction in Illinois requires proof not only that the document was marked, altered, or signed by the individual in question, but that that person acted knowingly and with intent to defraud. Note that an individual can still be charged with forgery in Illinois if they intended to conduct a fraudulent act, regardless of whether or not the fraudulent act was successfully completed.

One Chicago man was recently charged with forgery after police say he wrote several forged checks in both Iowa and Illinois, apparently drawn from his dead uncle’s bank account. According to, District Court Judge Michael Schilling suspended a five-year prison sentence and instead placed the 22-year-old on probation. He was also ordered to pay a fine of more than $1,000.

Chicago forgeryAlthough they may not get the same level of publicity as violent crimes, forgery and other white collar crimes are taken very seriously in Illinois. Forgery is a Class 3 Felony in Illinois, and those convicted of forgery could face up to 7 years in prison. If you’re currently subject to a forgery investigation in Illinois, or if you’ve already been charged with a white collar crime, contact a top Chicago white collar crime defense attorney right away. Cook County white collar crime lawyer Christopher M. Cosley offers a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation.

Illinois Juvenile Offenders Expensive to House; Facilities to Close

March 6th, 2012 at 7:18 pm

A recent Canton Daily Ledger article out of the provides that one Illinois county (Fulton) spent over $406,000 housing juvenile offenders outside of their own county. The article mentions one treatment facility that costs close to $9,000 per month per person. Yet another news piece tells of Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to close ten Illinois detention centers, including two juvenile facilities – despite the fact that the number of juvenile crimes in Illinois is increasing.

In the words of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA,) “incarceration is used too often as a solution for children with problems.” The fact is that Illinois spends over $100 million each year to incarcerate nearly 1,400 juveniles – including around 2,000 that haven’t even been convicted of a crime and are simply awillinois juvenile offenderaiting trial.

In Illinois, a juvenile crime is one that is committed by someone age 17 or under. Most often, juvenile offenders are children who made poor choices, and classifying and sentencing them the same way as adult criminals is both unfair and unreasonable. If your minor family member has been accused of a crime, it’s important to hire a Chicago lawyer who is experienced in juvenile crime defense. A skilled Cook County, Illinois juvenile crime attorney understands the prosecution and Illinois’ juvenile crime laws, and may be able to prevent your underage family member from ending up with a permanent criminal record or being sentenced to time in a detention facility. Click here to arrange a free consultation with Rolling Meadows juvenile defense lawyer Christopher M. Cosley.

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