Feds Can Use Stolen Segal Files

January 27, 2004

The legal defense of Michael Segal, the former owner of Chicago-based Near North Insurance Brokerage Inc., was dealt a major blow by a federal judge presiding over Segal’s trial on charges of embezzling more than $20 million from his company’s premium fund trust.

U.S. District Court Judge Ruben Castillo refused to grant Segal’s attempt to get a hearing on whether computer files that were stolen from Near North company by a former employee were obtained in violation of the law by federal prosecutors.

Segal’s lawyers had argued that federal prosecutors may have pursued or requested the stolen information, thus making it an illegal search and rendering the physical evidence of Segal’s wrongdoing inadmissible.

Castillo denied the hearing, however, saying he saw no evidence the government had engaged in such actions. Segal and his brokerage have pleaded innocent to the charges of fraud and corruption.

An exclusive interview with Segal was featured in the Jan. 12 premiere issue of Insurance Journal Midwest.

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