CHICAGO – Jay Rowell, Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), issued the following statement today after U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber sentenced Roberto Cisneros to three years in prison following Mr. Cisneros’ guilty plea to mail fraud in connection with defrauding the IDES through fraudulent unemployment insurance claims:
“Unemployment insurance fraud is not a faceless crime. It is fundamentally unfair to every worker and every business owner who respects the rules. It hinders our economic recovery and costs every resident of Illinois.
“Technically, the Illinois Department of Employment Security is considered the victim in this case. However, every resident of Illinois is harmed by such behavior. We cannot tolerate fraud at any level, at any scope.
“I applaud U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office and the dedicated federal officials who so diligently worked to secure this outcome. The IDES worked with federal prosecutors during the investigation. We will continue to work with federal, state and local prosecutors to guard taxpayers from waste fraud and abuse and put our residents back to work.”
According to the plea agreement, Mr. Cisneros, 34, Chicago, acknowledged that, in exchange for money, he assisted approximately 57 individuals obtain unemployment insurance benefits when he knew they were ineligible for benefits. The dollar loss to the IDES was approximately $479,571. Mr. Cisneros deposited approximately $261,017 into bank accounts he controlled.
Questions regarding specifics of the plea agreement should be directed to Mr. Fitzgerald’s office.