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Illinois accuses 14 of unemployment benefit fraud

CHICAGO — Fourteen Illinoisans are accused of defrauding the state by collecting more than $400,000 in unemployment benefits even though they had jobs.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Department of Employment Security announced indictments against the 14 defendants Tuesday.

The sweep caught nine defendants in Cook County, including one who allegedly collected more than $48,000 in fraudulent benefits. Additionally, the indictment accuses three Will County residents and residents from Kankakee and Champaign counties.

In a statement Tuesday, Madigan says prosecuting such cases deters fraud and ensures that the government has the resources to help those who are truly unemployed.

The defendants face felony charges of theft, state benefits fraud and wire fraud.

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