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Northbrook Couple Sentenced in Shoplifting Ring Case

 Posted on January 30, 2017 in Theft

Chicago retail theft attorneysWhen you think about shoplifting, there is a good chance you picture an individual surreptitiously sneaking an item or two under his or her jacket or into a handbag. This type of retail theft certainly does occur and retailers lose billions of dollars each year to small-time shoplifters. Sometimes, however, shoplifting can be a much bigger operation—even rising to the level of organized crime. Such was the case involving a seemingly well-to-do couple living on Chicago’s North Shore, as they were recently sentenced in federal court for running a large-scale retail theft ring.

Federal Investigation

According to court records, federal authorities followed the couple as they, along with their children, embarked on a four-day, multi-state stealing spree. The couple reportedly went into stores like Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, and Starbucks, coming out with the wife’s dress “seemingly bursting at the seams,” as she attempted to hide stolen merchandise. The husband, wife, and their eldest daughter were arrested in March of 2014. In 2015, they reached a plea agreement with federal authorities in which they admitted to stealing more than $9.5 million in merchandise over the last 12 years.

Prison Time and Asset Forfeiture

The husband and wife each pleaded guilty to two counts of transporting stolen items across state lines. The eldest daughter was sentenced to 15 months in prison for her role. In late November, the couple was back in front of a federal judge for sentencing. The wife was sentenced to three years in prison, while the husband—the alleged mastermind of the ring—will serve four years. The couple’s $1.4 million home in Northbrook was also seized by federal authorities to offset some of what they stole.

State and Federal Considerations

In most cases, retail theft cases are handled at the state level by the State’s Attorney’s Office in the county where the theft allegedly occurred. Sometimes, shoplifting is even treated as a violation of a local ordinance instead of a state-level crime. The charges can become even more serious, however, when a suspect is believed to have moved stolen property across state lines—which includes selling stolen merchandise on sites like eBay and Craigslist. In cases such as these, federal authorities may become involved and a conviction could result in incarceration in a federal prison.

Retail Theft Defense

If you are facing charges related to shoplifting or any other type of retail theft, an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney can help you explore your options. Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to help you avoid a conviction and protect your future. Call 773-276-5541 for a free consultation at Luisi Legal Group today.





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