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Archive for the ‘white collar crimes’ tag

What Are the Penalties for Committing Forgery in Illinois?

January 10th, 2018 at 11:32 am

forgery, Rolling Meadows white collar crime lawyer, white collar crimes, forgery conviction, forgery allegationWhite collar crimes, especially the crime of forgery, have been featured prominently in the news recently. The crime of forgery is committed when an individual drafts or alters a writing with the intent to defraud another. However, it is important to note that each state in the U.S. defines forgery slightly differently in their respective criminal codes.

In Illinois, according to code section 720 ILCS 5/17-3, forgery is committed in Illinois when a person knowingly, and with the intent to defraud:

  • Falsifies a document in order to defraud another,
  • Issues or delivers a falsified document while knowing it to be false,
  • Possesses a falsified document with the intent to issue or deliver it while knowing it to be false,
  •  Illegally uses someone else’s digital signature, or
  • Illegally uses someone else’s signature device in order to create an electronic signature for that person.


Forgery is generally charged as a Class 3 felony in Illinois; however, if the violator forged only one Universal Price Code Label then the crime can be charged as a Class 4 felony. Additionally, if the violator was convicted of forging a coin or an academic degree (that did not explicitly state “for novelty purposes only”) then he or she can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

Although the various penalties that are available for committing forgery under Illinois law vary a bit depending on the manner in which the forgery was conducted, one count of forgery that is charged as a Class 3 felony can generally be accompanied by one or more of the following penalties:

  • Restitution: The offender will almost always be ordered to pay restitution to those he or she defrauded (aka he or she will be required to pay compensation to his or her victims),
  • Imprisonment: The offender may be ordered to serve two to five years in prison; however, as an alternative to imprisonment, the offender may be placed on probation, and
  • Fine: The offender may be ordered to pay up to $25,000 in fines.

Additionally, it should also be noted that an individual who is convicted of forgery in Illinois will generally be forced to carry the forgery conviction on his or her permanent record forever as it is unlikely to be expunged or sealed.   

Charged with Forgery in Illinois? Contact a Local White Collar Crime Lawyer

If you are in need of a talented Rolling Meadows white collar crime lawyer to defend you in Illinois against a forgery allegation, look no further than the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Attorney Chris Cosley has extensive experience defending clients throughout Illinois against a wide variety of white collar crimes including conspiracy, counterfeiting, extortion, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, bribery, and of course forgery. To find out what The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can do for you, contact us today for help.



What Is a White Collar Crime?

August 10th, 2015 at 8:10 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal statutes, Some types of crimes are motivated purely by financial gain, and these types of crimes are called “white collar” crimes, referring to the non-violent and money-centric nature of these crimes. White collar crimes often involve fraud in some form, dishonest behavior, or the inappropriate handling of funds or money that belongs to someone else. White collar crimes are often characterized by a highly complicated scheme devised to improperly make or steal money without anyone either noticing that money is missing or being able to easily identify the source of the theft. When white collar crimes happen, many people are affected and victimized.

Most Common White Collar Crimes

There are a number of white collar crimes that result in criminal charges. Fraud is the most common white collar offense, and it takes many forms. Wire, mail and internet fraud; business, business investment, and business opportunity fraud; bank, insurance and mortgage fraud; medicare-medicaid fraud; and securities fraud are some of the most highly popularized and widely reported white collar crimes in the media. For example, failed Ponzi schemes and insider trading are two white collar crimes that many people have heard about in the news due to the high profile individuals that have been involved in these crimes.

Misrepresentation is another common basis upon which white collar crimes are perpetrated. Misrepresentation is the underlying action behind criminal charges for crimes such as falsifying financial documents, falsifying tax documents, and forgery. Tax evasion, corruption, embezzlement and money laundering are all common white collar crimes that are also based on dishonest behavior and the improper handling of money.

Investigation for a White Collar Crime

When law enforcement suspects someone of being involved in a financially motivated crime, they will often openly inform the suspect that they are conducting an investigation. Due to the convoluted nature of the crime, it may take police a significant amount of time to sort out the specifics of the case.

However, in some white collar cases, innocent people get swept up in the mess. It can be difficult to determine ultimate liability, since the whole scheme may be orchestrated so that many unsuspecting people are involved, thereby depleting liability by spreading out accountability to many other people. Sometimes an employee was simply following orders, and had no idea that their actions contributed to something criminal. Whatever the case might be, if you are notified that you are under investigation for the commission of a white collar crime, you need to seek the help and guidance of an experienced white collar criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been charged with one of these white collar crimes, or have been informed that you are being investigated, you need to get into contact with a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847) 394-3200.

Illinois Lawmakers Change Definition of Forgery for 2012

April 11th, 2012 at 10:04 pm

While state lawmakers made several changes to the Illinois Criminal Code for 2012, one major change involves the broadening of the definition of forgery under Illinois law. A forgery offense is a Class 3 felony, which carries a penalty of a prison sentence ranging from two to five years, as well as a fine of no more than $25,000, and restitution in an amount of no more than the total amount of the victim’s loss. As the penalties for forgery are quite severe, it is important that everyone realize what types of conduct constitutes forgery under the Illinois Compiled Statutes.

Forgery occurs when, with the intent to defraud, a person knowingly makes a false document or alters any document so that it is false, and the document is capable by its appearance of defrauding another. Additionally, forgery occurs when a person issues or delivers such a document, or possesses the document with the intent to issue or deliver it.

In the past, a document had to appear as if it were created by another person in order to qualify as the crime of forgery. The revisions to the law, however, state that the document can be a forgery even if bears the name of and is signed by the person who actually made the document.

The revised forgery statute simplifies the elements of the crime. As a result, the state must only prove that a document is false and that it is capable by its appearance of defrauding another person in order to prove that someone committed the crime of forgery.

If you or a family member is accused of forgery in Illinois, it is essential that you have legal representation in order to protect your rights. Contact a Cook County, Illinois, forgery defense lawyer today for the legal assistance that you need in this situation.

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