Unemployment benefits have been a life saver for those who have found it difficult to land a job in a sluggish job market. For most receivers, they have used their time wisely in looking for a job as required by the government to receive benefits. Unemployment compensation is meant to act as bridge, until a new job can be found, but unfortunately some people receiving benefits have abused the system.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois of Employment Security (IDES) announced indictments of 14 Chicago area defendants, alleging they defrauded the state when they knowingly collected more the $400,000 in unemployment benefits, even though they were employed!
I have heard some people who are collecting unemployment benefits falsify their company contacts, but to collect unemployment benefits after you land a job is beyond reproach. It is detrimental to the entire process of the unemployment benefit system and threatens benefits for those who are working hard to find a job. Stealing money for those who play by the rules hurts our economy and can not be tolerated.
Charges are filed against these people who abused the system as theft, a Class 1 felony punishable by four to fifteen years in prison and state benefits fraud and wire fraud, of which is a Class 3 felony punishable by two to five years in prison, against the 14 defendants.
In each case, the defendant falsely verified they were unemployed through the IDES telephone or on-line verification system to access taxpayer-funded assisted during their suspended unemployment when, in fact, they were employed and should have not received any unemployment benefits. Fraudulent claims made by the defendants spanned from 2009 through 2011 with some collecting more than $40,000 in fraudulent unemployment benefits.
It is imperative that you alert the IDES when you find a job. Failure to do so could land you in jail.