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Sami Z. Azhari

Attorney Profile

Top Rated White Collar Crimes Attorney in Chicago, IL

Azhari LLC
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2140
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-626-2871
Fax: 312-626-2872
Selected to Rising Stars: 2015 - 2022
Licensed in Illinois Since: 2007
Practice Areas: Criminal Defense: White Collar, Criminal Defense
Languages Spoken: Arabic, English
Attorney Profile

Representative Federal Cases

  • USA v. XXX (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois) Represented a Chief Financial Officer of an international corporation on wire fraud charges, where he was accused of embezzling $5.8 million dollars from the corporate account. The matter was covered by news outlets across the country and every major news network in Chicago: https://www.federalcriminallawyer.us/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Executive-escort-suspected-of-spending-5.8-million-on-company-credit-card-Chicago-Tribune.pdf

  • USA v. XXX (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois)  Defended a church bishop on charges of wire fraud and labor trafficking.

  • USA v. XXX (U.S. District Court, Norther District of Illinois) Defended an email marketer accused of wire fraud, allegedly using a fictitious name to access email servers to conduct snowshoe spamming.

  • USA v. XXX (U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York) Currently representing an individual charged with sex trafficking. 

  • USA v. XXX (U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa) Represented an individual charged with drug trafficking. 

  • USA v. XXX (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois) Represented a foreign national on charges of assaulting a federal agent. The case went to a jury trial and resulted in a full acquittal: https://www.federalcriminallawyer.us/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Chicago.Law_.Bulletin-copy.pdf
  • USA v. XXX (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois) Represented a commodities trader on mail fraud charges, where he allegedly misappropriated $8 million dollars.

Sami is an attorney and principal of Azhari LLC, with over 14 years of experience as a trial lawyer. He has tried over 100 jury and bench trials. His practice focuses on federal and white collar criminal defense, where he has defended attorneys, traders, and corporate executives on a litany of federal crimes including wire fraud, bank fraud, racketeering (RICO), and conspiracy charges. His clients also include physicians, business owners, professional athletes, and board members.

He handles all aspects of federal criminal prosecutions, representing witnesses, targets, and defendants from the investigative phase through trial, and if necessary, sentencing and appeals. He has dealt with every investigative agency including FBI, ATF, DEA, IRS, Department of Homeland Security and the United States Secret Service.

He has been consistently recognized in numerous publications, such as Super Lawyers Magazine as being one of the most highly skilled and highly regarded criminal lawyers. He achieved the Illinois Rising Star award for 8 consecutive years, an honor given to the top 2.5% of attorneys in the state.

He also handles criminal fraud charges that revolve around the Paycheck Protection Program that was rolled out after the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. He recently received a federal jury acquittal on behalf of his client, a foreign national from Mauritania that was facing federal criminal charges in the Northern District of Illinois. The case went to a jury trial where he was found not guilty of all charges.

He has been published numerous times in publications on issues of white collar criminal defense, jury deliberations, and other matters. Recently, The Champion, the nationwide journal for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers published his article, Guilty Until Proven Guilty: The Prosecution of Public Corruption and White Collar Crime.

Sami Azhari has been recognized by "Super Lawyers" as a Rising Star every year since 2015 (top 2.5% in Illinois) and the National Trial Lawyers Association has named him to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers list as well as the Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers in Illinois. 

He currently serves as the Chair of the Federal Criminal Law Committee, which is part of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association. He is also a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In 2021 he was on the faculty of the American Bar Association's White Collar Crime Conference, where he was on a panel that discussed emerging white collar crime issues in the midwest and west coast. 

 

 

Practice Areas
  • 80%Criminal Defense: White Collar
  • 20%Criminal Defense
Focus Areas

White Collar Crime, Criminal Law - Federal, Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Fraud, Sex Offenses, Tax Evasion

Selections

8 Years Rising Stars
  • Rising Stars: 2015 - 2022

About Sami Z. Azhari

First Admitted: 2007, Illinois

Professional Webpage: https://www.federalcriminallawyer.us

Verdicts/Settlements

  • USA v. Dickey - Labor Trafficking
  • USA v. Abdallah - Tax Fraud
  • USA v. Laskowski - Failure to File Tax Returns
  • USA v. Persaud - Wire Fraud
  • USA v. M'Baye - Assault on a Federal Agent
  • USA v. Estrada – Bank Fraud
  • USA v. Chychula – Northern District of Illinois - Nine counts of wire fraud
  • USA v. Amaya – Racketeering

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Certificate in Intellectual Property Law, Michigan State University College of Law

Educational Background

  • Purdue University, B.S., Electrical Engineering, specializing in Digital Signal Processing and Field and Wave Electromagnetics, Honors: Deans List, Semester Honors, 2004

Bar/Professional Activity

  • California, 2009
  • Illinois, 2007
  • Illinois Federal Trial Bar
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • Northern District of California
  • Central District of California
  • Eastern District of California
  • Southern District of California
  • Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 7th Circuit
  • American Bar Association White Collar Crime Committee, 2021
  • Northwest Suburban Bar Associaton Chair - Federal Criminal Law Committee, 2021
  • Arab American Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Committee, 2021
  • Chicago Bar Association, Member, 2011–present
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member, 2007–2009
  • Northwest Suburban Bar Association, Member, 2011–present Chair: Federal Criminal Law Committee

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • "Superb" rating on Avvo.com, 2014

Honors/Awards

  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Association, 2015
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Northwest Suburban Bar Association
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Association, 2014
  • Top 40 Under 40, National Trial Lawyers Association, 2014
  • Top 40 Under 40, National Trial Lawyers Association, 2014

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • The article discussed the different criminal statutes available to prosecutor fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program Loans. , Author, Federal Prosecution of PPP Fraud, Law 360, 2021
  • This article explores the history of white collar crime prosecutions as well as the perception of those defendants in the public eye. , Author, Guilty Unity Proven Guilty: The Prosecution of Public Corruption and White-Collar Crime, The Champion, 2020
  • Expungements and Sealings, Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, IL, November 2014
  • Traffic Court: Do I Need a Lawyer?, Northwest Suburban Bar Association – Arlington Heights, IL, October 2014
  • Statutory Summary Suspension Hearings: Limited Grounds, But Unlimited Uses, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education – Chicago, IL, October 2014
  • Hot Air & Bodily Fluids: Breath, Blood, and Urine Testing, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education – Chicago, IL, October 2014
  • How to Get and Keep Good Clients in a Competitive Market, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education – Chicago, IL, April 2014
  • Recognzing a "Bad" Client, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education - Chicago, IL, April 2014
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Office Location for Sami Z. Azhari

30 North LaSalle Street
Suite 2140
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 312-626-2871

Fax: 312-626-2872

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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