CHICAGO – Jay Rowell, Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), issued the following statement today after acting U.S. Attorney Gary S. Shapiro’s office announced criminal charges alleging unemployment insurance fraud. The IDES identified the suspects, brought the case to federal prosecutors and provided detailed analysis critical to the investigation and subsequent charges.
“Today is another example of the Department’s efforts to root out waste, fraud and abuse.
“Stealing money from the unemployment insurance program is a crime against every taxpayer in Illinois and must not be tolerated. The allegations that a few individuals schemed to line their pockets at the expense of others is outrageous.
“The unemployment insurance program is a safety net designed to help families when they need it the most. The program also helps local economies because the dollars are immediately spent in local groceries, corner gas stations and other neighborhood stores. Benefit fraud harms our recovery and must not be tolerated.
“I applaud Mr. Shapiro and his staff for their hard work in this scandal. The IDES will continue to use every available tool, and create new ones when appropriate, to protect taxpayer dollars and put our residents back to work.”
Federal prosecutors allege 32 individuals schemed to defraud the IDES of nearly $874,000. Specifics of the criminal investigation and prosecution should be directed to Mr. Shapiro’s office, (312) 353-5300. The accused have addresses in Chicago, Alsip, Bolingbrook, Buffalo Grove, Calumet, Carpentersville, Flossmoor, Joliet, Kankakee, LaGrange, Lockport, Matteson, Naperville, Park Forest and Westmont, according to Mr. Shapiro’s office.