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Man charged in $7M shoplifting case jailed



Published: Mon, March 10, 2014 @ 5:05 p.m.

CHICAGO (AP) — The head of a suburban Chicago family accused of stealing $7 million in goods in a decadelong, multistate shoplifting spree will stay in jail because he is a flight risk, a federal judge ruled today.

Branko Bogdanov, his wife and his daughter allegedly operated in tandem to pilfer merchandise, then have it sold on eBay. They were arrested last week at their spacious home in a wealthy Northbrook neighborhood.

Bogdanov, 58, emigrated in 1973 from the former Yugoslavia and is in the U.S. illegally. He's been arrested 16 times and convicted six times, including for shoplifting, prosecutor Renato Mariotti said at a detention hearing.

If convicted of the one count of interstate transportation of stolen property, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

"This defendant has nothing to lose," Mariotti said. "I think if you let him go ... he'll disappear."

The government attorney also accused Bogdanov of misleading court officials by claiming he is $28,500 in debt. In fact, Mariotti said, he owns his $1.3 million house and 12 vehicles, including a Lexus and Corvette.

Defense lawyer Forrest Tatel argued for his client's release, saying the elder Bogdanov has five U.S.-born children and maintains close ties to the Chicago area, where he has spent most of his life.

Bogdanov, his 52-year-old wife, Lela Bogdanov and their 34-year-old daughter, Julia Bogdanov, are all charged with the same stolen-property count. None has entered a plea.


Comments

1Bevan(7 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Once again someone truly "illegal" has managed to live comfortably without any threat of penalty, or deportation. This man--and his family--pilfered, stole, lied, cheated. Altogether damaged his various communities, but remained in this country without any agency trying to find him.

Our obsession with so called "illegal aliens" never seems to concern itself with men like THIS, who defy our laws and act in criminal ways, as long as their ethnic origin and skin color are more closely "white." We spend billions trying to keep out, track down, and export poor men and women of color trying desperately to make a better life for their families by working at jobs disowned by mainstream Americans. Yet we tolerate truly ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS who openly defy our laws and customs, commit treason, and damage our entire social structure. And guess who will pay for this man's trial and prison term, if it comes to that.

This case should make us look at our own prejudices that convince us to track down and deport Central American Hispanics while we look the other way at Europeans & Middle Easterners who do "business" here, however illegal or nefarious their operations. (no I am no Hispanic; but I recognize racial prejudices when I see them.)

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