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Defendants face life in Chicago ID-fraud case

Posted on in Bankruptcy Attorney

According to a recent article, a very long, complicated scheme centered in Chicago but that included a murder in Mexico City ended Tuesday with three defendants facing mandatory life sentences.

This entire operation was based in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. The scheme lasted for at least 15 years until it was broken up in 2007. In total, it generated somewhere around $3 million in annual sales of fake Social Security cards, driver's licenses, and various other documents.

Jurors determined Tuesday that Julio Leija-Sanchez, his brother Manuel Leija-Sanchez, and Gerardo Salazer-Rodrigues would all get mandatory life sentences for racketeering conspiracy because of the fact that it involved murder. This occurred one of the last stages of a six-week trial.

On Monday, the jury returned with three guilty verdicts on multiple counts.

Salazar-Rodriguez was who carried out the murder of a rival in Mexico City in 2007. According to prosecutors, he fired more than a dozen shots into a taxicab.

The operation was dismantled and dozens of suspects were arrested back in 2007. Hours of wiretapped conversations were the main source of evidence for prosecutors. Within these conversations, Salazar-Rodriguez allegedly can be heard bragging to the Leija-Sanchez brothers about the murder he committed.

It is true that the counterfeiters sold 100 sets of fraudulent IDs each day for about $200 per set at some times. These sets usually included a fake Social Security card and either an immigration green card or driver's license. Some aspects of the operations were conducted in Mexico.

The sentencing was set for September 12th.

Identity theft can be a great way for the thieves to access bank accounts of the victims- which can leave you suddenly penniless or in debt. It is best to discuss your financial options with an attorney. If you have been the victim of fraud, you must immediately contact an Illinois lawyer to assist you in fighting for your rights.

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