The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) found almost $2 million in unemployment insurance benefits wrongfully paid to inmates during July, August, and September.
Over 1,100 inmates could face charges due to the inmate cross-matching initiative. They could also have their federal and state tax returns garnished and will be ineligible for future unemployment benefits while debt is still outstanding.
"The inmate cross-matching initiative is another important step in rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse," IDES Director Jay Rowell said. "Money that funds the unemployment insurance program comes from businesses. Stopping fraud helps our businesses reduce costs, which leads to new hires and a stronger economy."
In the Winnebago County Jail, unemployment insurance benefits were collected on behalf of 20 inmates for a total of $84,533. IDES says it is possible that the inmates in question could have been unaware that someone continued to collect benefits on their behalf.
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