Chicago or the “Windy City” is popular for more than just the cool lake breeze that sweeps it. The city is also known for its massive financial and economic growth. Its diversified economy is worth a Gross Regional Product (GRP) of $698 Billion.
At the same time, financial crimes are rather rampant in the city. It even gained the dubious distinction of having the highest rise in murder rates nationwide in 2020. The underhanded exchange of money is sure to be behind the financing of such acts.
Illinois has adopted many laws to curtail the invisible exchange of finance. Sometimes, in their quest to reduce such crimes, the police may overdo their job of apprehending people on suspicion or may exaggerate the culpability. If you’re in such a situation, a criminal defense attorney Chicago can get you away from the troubles.
Types of Money Misuse That Can Put You Behind Bars
Illinois financial crime laws are comprehensive in defining the types of financial crimes they apply to and the respective punitive action they entail. Getting caught up in any of them, even under suspicion, could lead to severe consequences, including jail time. It’s best to be aware of the laws and call a criminal defense attorney in Chicago just in case.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit cards get used for nearly every transaction. That makes them a prime target for fraud and theft. Illinois considers the wrongful possession, sale, or use of credit/debit cards a crime.
You can’t use the card as security for a debt, nor with the intent to defraud someone. Besides defrauding (Class A misdemeanor if $150 worth gets purchased in six months), and wrongful use of an unusable card (Class 3 felony for $300 or more worth of usage), the rest fall under Class 4 felony, the lowest felony-level offense.
Also called larceny, the state defines it as an unauthorized person possessing something of value. Money also falls under that category, along with property like gold.
If a person gains money from another via deception, unauthorized control, threat, by stealing it from another knowing that it was stolen, or by conning them as a law enforcement person, they are liable for prosecution. Knowingly using, concealing, or abandoning it will also land you in hot water.
Under Illinois tax laws, commercial products sold within it should have a 6.25% sales tax. While there are exceptions, most products fall under its ambit. Attempting to avoid this is considered an offense.
Under personal tax laws, individuals, estates, and trusts are obligated to shell it out. Everyone pays a flat 5%, with people earning above a million a year paying an additional 3%. Partnerships, trusts, and S corporations have a separate 2.5% of net income levied as personal property replacement tax. Not paying these counts as a crime.
If the government can prove that the money you used for the transaction was criminally sourced, tax-evaded, or derived from specified criminal activity, anti-money laundering laws will apply.
Money is not hard to come by in a place like Chicago, including with criminal activity. If you’ve found yourself in such a pickle, then a criminal defense attorney in Chicago can see to it that you get defended rightfully.