Dad accused of shoplifting $7M in toys ordered held - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Dad, mom accused of shoplifting $7M in toys ordered held

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Branko Bogdanov, 58. (Palatine police) Branko Bogdanov, 58. (Palatine police)
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A judge says both heads of a suburban Chicago family accused of stealing $7 million in goods in a multistate shoplifting spree must stay in jail pending trial.

Prosecutors had argued at a Monday detention hearing that both 58-year-old Branko Bogdanov and 52-year-old Lela Bogdanov were flight risks.

The judge didn't immediately rule about whether their daughter, 34-year-old Julia Bogdanov, could be released.

Before U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mason ordered Branko Bogdanov, 58, detained, prosecutors also said Bogdanov lied about the true value of his wealth, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

"It's clear that Mr. Bogdanov has every reason to flee," said Renato Mariotti, the federal prosecutor handling the case.

Bogdanov, his wife, Lela Bogdanov, 52, and daughter Julia Bogdanov, 34, are accused of stealing from the shelves of stores in at least six states in the last five months, according to a federal complaint announced last week.

SEE: Northbrook family accused of mega-shoplifting $7M in goods

Added together, the toys and other goods that the Bogdanovs and their fence sold on eBay over the last decade fetched more than $4.2 million, court papers state.

Mariotti noted Bogdanov has an extensive criminal history that includes 16 arrests and six criminal convictions in various states.

Mariotti also said federal officials detained Bogdanov in 1994, with the intention of deporting him — but at the time, his apparent home country, the former Yugoslavia, was in turmoil.

Mariotti said Bogdanov's assertion he is worth negative $28,500 is nonsense, noting the accused owns a home worth approximately $1.4 million.

Bogdanov's attorney, Forrest Tatel, said his client was never deported because he has "no country of origin" and has no passport. Tatel also said his client has strong ties the community, having lived in Northbrook for 17 years and 18 years in Skokie.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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