Naturally, disability fraud is taken very seriously when someone uses it to claim federal benefits or workers' compensation. It's also a crime, however, to just take advantage of people's generosity and other programs geared toward people with disabilities by pretending to be someone you are not -- or to have medical conditions you don't actually have.
Two people have been convicted of witness tampering -- among other charges -- in a federal drug case. The 46-year-old Michigan man is now facing life in prison. His co-conspirator, a 45-year-old Illinois woman, is facing 20 years behind bars. A third co-conspirator previously entered a guilty plea in the case.
You've heard of Zoom, the video conferencing app that everybody from schoolchildren to senior executives is using these days, right? It creates electronic "rooms" for meetings that can be joined by anyone with the right link.
Martin Sandoval, a 56-year-old former Illinois state senator, pleaded guilty in late January 2020 to tax fraud and bribery charges. He has admitted to taking $250,000 in bribes from a local red-light cameral company as well as other individuals and their business interests. As part of the plea agreement, he also admitted to having his accountant underreport his earnings to the Internal Revenue Service from 2012 to 2017.
Illinois animal lovers might be happy to learn that the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that makes animal cruelty a federal crime. The measure was passed by a unanimous vote on Oct. 22.
An Illinois resident was charged with multiple counts of money laundering after it was discovered that he was running an illegal sports betting business. The 35-year-old defendant paid a fee to use an online sports betting platform in Costa Rica. He would then collect money from bettors and pay out their winnings in cash. In addition to money laundering, the defendant was also charged with two counts of bankruptcy fraud.
Illinois residents may have heard that actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced for her role in the Operation Varsity Blues college admissions scam. However, a second parent has also been convicted for paying an individual $250,000 to help get his son into college as a water polo recruit. The 53-year-old businessman was sentenced to four months in jail in addition to a $95,000 fine and 500 hours of community service.
In Illinois, kidnapping may be charged under state or federal law. The offense can become a federal crime if the circumstances meet one of six different scenarios. People who are charged with kidnapping may be initially arrested by state or local law enforcement officers but then transferred into the federal court system depending on the circumstances of the offenses.
There are many ways in which a person can use a computer to commit a crime. For instance, one may use an internet connection in Illinois to bully or otherwise harass individuals throughout the world. Computers can also be used to commit offenses such as identity theft and creating or sharing child pornography. The Department of Justice has a task force that helps parents protect their children from becoming victims of online predators.
As an increasing number of people in Illinois rely on digital identity information for their daily lives and financial management, allegations of identity theft have become more common. In many instances, identity theft cases are investigated at the federal level, especially as computer fraud is often associated with these charges. Identity theft can encompass a wide range of accusations; it can refer to email phishing attempts that seek to gain credit card or banking information, false IDs for immigration purposes or new identities for fugitives.