The Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced Wednesday afternoon that it allegedly has been cheated out of $2.4 million in unemployment insurance benefits. Fifteen people have been indicted for allegedly scheming to use fake companies to claim benefits.
In addition to Indiana, the defendants are accused of scamming benefits from Illinois and Wisconsin for a total of $8.7 million. A Chicago woman who owned a tax preparation business is the alleged ringleader. She’s accused of registering fictitious employers with state unemployment insurance agencies and using those companies to collect unemployment insurance benefits. The other defendants are accused of fraudulently collecting benefits from these fake companies.
The defendants were indicted on tax, fraud and identity theft charges Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.