State Briefs 3/30/09

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Man says he was attacked with ice

SPRINGFIELD – A 44-year-old man allegedly attacked a 22-year-old man by punching him and using ice as a weapon in a parking lot Sunday.

The victim told officers he was in a parking lot about 12:50 p.m. when the 44-year-old man attacked him, a police report said.

The victim refused medical treatment but complained of swelling around his right eye, police said.

State Journal-Register

Prosecutors move to seize assets of dentist convicted of Medicaid fraud

SPRINGFIELD – Federal prosecutors are trying to seize assets of a former Springfield dentist who served about 18 months in prison for Medicaid fraud but who hasn’t paid most of the more than $500,000 in federal fines and restitution connected with his 2005 conviction.

U.S. District Judge Richard Mills said Sergius Rinaldi of Glen Carbon had a net worth of $2.4 million at the time of sentencing. Rinaldi was ordered to pay $500,000 in fines and almost $26,000 in restitution.

With accumulated interest, Rinaldi owed about $600,000 but has paid less than $100,000. Rinaldi still owes $541,000, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Lewis said. Lewis is trying to determine the 73-year-old orthodontist’s assets and proposes to seize at least $28,000 from a Rinaldi checking account.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron Cudmore has scheduled an April 28 hearing in U.S. District Court in Springfield.

Rinaldi was convicted of two felonies — billing the Medicaid public-health insurance program for many services he didn’t perform from 1994 to 2001 and for obstructing the health-care investigation that ended in his indictment in 2001. Rinaldi pleaded guilty in 2002.

State Journal-Register

Father and son arrested in bank robberies

WHEATON – Police have arrested an employee at a Wheaton bank and his father in connection with a robbery there and at a Naperville bank earlier this month.

Louis S. Early, 26, of Lisle, and his father Louis H. Early, 51, of Dewitt, N.Y., were charged last week with one count each of bank robbery. If convicted, both men face up to 20 years in prison.

The charges stem from the March 18 robbery of a TCF Bank inside a Jewel grocery store in Wheaton. The younger Early was an assistant manager at the bank. The FBI says it has also linked the two to the March 9 robbery of a Fifth Third Bank in Naperville.

Louis H. Early, the father, was arrested March 21 in New York on unrelated state charges. Investigators then tied him to the bank heists, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The complaint says Louis H. Early admitted to the robberies and told investigators that his son was the get-away driver in the Naperville robbery and helped plan the Wheaton heist. They picked a day and a time when the son would be one of two employees working, the complaint said.

The complaint says about $9,000 was stolen from the Naperville bank and about $60,000 was stolen from the Wheaton bank.

Suburban Life Publications

Change of venue denied for man facing rape trial

PEORIA – A judge on Monday denied a request by an alleged serial rapist to move his trial to another county.

The ruling by Peoria County Circuit Judge Michael Brandt wasn’t unexpected, given that Brandt denied a similar request last fall by Monterius Hinkle. That request came amid a heated state’s attorney’s race where Hinkle’s case became a hot-button issue.

Hinkle, 21, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 26 years in prison in November for raping a 16-year-old girl after he grabbed her and dragged her through an alley, a yard and into his home in broad daylight.

The South Peoria man has two more cases pending. Both of those cases were continued Monday. One will be tried May 11 while the other one has a June 8 trial setting. He has already filed an appeal in the first case.

Defense attorney Kevin Lowe asked for the transfer, saying he didn’t believe his client could get a fair trial given the publicity Hinkle has received in the past year. However, Brandt found, as he did last fall, that while the case has been in the news a great deal, Hinkle did not prove that publicity would be prejudicial.

He faces a combined 60 years in prison if convicted in the two cases, which involve alleged assaults in August and June 2007. It’s possible those sentences could be served consecutively to his existing 26-year sentence.

Peoria Journal Star