Chicago, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Three Chicago area men arrested were indicted last week by a federal grand jury on a charge of conspiracy to rob cash belonging to a west suburban bank. The defendants, Joseph Scalise, Robert Pullia, and Arthur Rachel, have been in federal custody since there were arrested by FBI agents on April 8 outside a Bridgeport home where they allegedly were planning to commit a home invasion.
Scalise, also known as “Jerry,” 73, of Clarendon Hills; Pullia, also known as “Bobby,” 69, of Plainfield; and Rachel, also known as “Art,” 71, of Chicago, were charged with one count of conspiracy since at least March 2009 to rob bulk cash belonging to the First National Bank of La Grange, 620 West Burlington Ave., in La Grange, a western suburb.
An arraignment is expected to be scheduled soon before the assigned judge in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The indictment effectively cancels a preliminary hearing that was scheduled for April 21 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan.
The indictment was announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation, assisted by the La Grange Police Department, is continuing, they said.
A criminal complaint filed when the defendants were arrested alleged that agents had observed all three men apparently conducting surveillance in the vicinity of the bank, including during regularly scheduled Thursday morning cash deliveries and pick-ups by an armored car company. One or more of the defendants had been seen near the bank on Thursday mornings on at least a dozen different occasions since December. Authorities obtained court authorization in March to intercept conversations in Scalise’s vehicle in which the alleged robbery conspiracy was discussed, according to court records.
Conspiracy to commit robbery affecting interstate commerce carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted, the court is required to impose a reasonable sentence under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys T. Markus Funk and Amarjeet Bhachu.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only allegations and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.