WBEZ | fraud http://www.wbez.org/tags/fraud Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en That salmon on the menu might be a fraud - especially in winter http://www.wbez.org/news/salmon-menu-might-be-fraud-especially-winter-113532 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/salmonistock.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res452552647"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="When salmon was out of season, diners in restaurants were likely to get a species other than what they ordered 67 percent of the time, a new survey finds." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/28/istock_000048514658_full_slide-1388bd0f3924894bb2e10c312bced111dea97050-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="When salmon was out of season, diners in restaurants were likely to get a species other than what they ordered 67 percent of the time, a new survey finds. (iStockphoto)" /></div><div><div><p>Would you be able to tell if the wild Alaskan sockeye salmon you ordered for dinner was swapped out for a less expensive piece of farm-raised salmon?</p></div></div></div><p>For the observant, the color difference between the two would likely be the first give away. (Sockeye has a deeper red-orange hue.) Or maybe you&#39;d notice the disparity in the thickness of fillet. (Sockeye is flatter and less steaky in appearance.)</p><p>But what if you ordered the most coveted of salmon species &mdash; king salmon? (It&#39;s also known as Chinook.) Much like farmed Atlantic salmon, it&#39;s light in color, thick in texture and similarly marbled with fat. It&#39;s also significantly more expensive. And according to<a href="http://oceana.org/salmonfraud">&nbsp;a new report</a>&nbsp;released Wednesday by conservation group Oceana, it&#39;s a fish where you&#39;re more likely to get duped &mdash; especially if you order it from a restaurant during the winter.</p><p>In its latest attempt to uncover seafood fraud, Oceana collected and tested 82 salmon samples from restaurants and grocery stores in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York between December 2013 and March 2014. Results showed that 43 percent of salmon samples tested were mislabeled, and that far more of that mislabeling is occurring in restaurants than in large supermarkets.</p><p>The instances of salmon fraud were significantly higher than during an<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/02/21/172589997/one-in-three-fish-sold-at-restaurants-and-grocery-stores-is-mislabeled">&nbsp;earlier 2013 nationwide study</a>&nbsp;by the same group. That study included far more &mdash; 384 samples, which showed salmon fraud at only 7 percent. But the jump isn&#39;t being attributed to a sudden increase in unabandoned label swapping, rampant menu hijinks or differences in sample size. This survey was designed to measure fraud during the winter months, when salmon was not in season, and the marketplace would be shorter on supply, says Kimberly Warner, a senior scientist at Oceana who authored the new report.</p><p>&quot;In D.C. in summer, I don&#39;t think we had any salmon mislabeling. Same for Chicago,&quot; Warner tells The Salt.</p><p>To select samples for the newest study, Oceana searched online menus for restaurants touting &quot;wild salmon&quot; and sought out salmon labeled &quot;wild&quot; in grocery stores.</p><p>What the group found was that when wild salmon was out of season, the testing netted significantly different results. Diners were likely to get duped 67 percent of the time when ordering salmon in restaurants, compared with 20 percent of the time when buying in large grocery stores &mdash; which have to comply with country of origin labeling (COOL) regulations. And when diners were deceived, it was more likely to be an incident of farmed salmon being passed off as more expensive wild (69 percent of the time).</p><p>Erica Cline, an associate professor at the University of Washington Tacoma, conducted a<a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996911006247">&nbsp;similar study published in 2012</a>. Initially, she also found higher rates of farmed salmon being swapped for wild during winter months. But her ongoing testing in the years since has found that fraud tends to fluctuate regardless of season. Like Oceana&#39;s report, &quot;we still see substantially higher rates of substitution in restaurants than in [grocery] stores,&quot; Cline says.</p><p>Oceana says this kind of fraud is a real economic problem: Salmon-loving consumers aren&#39;t always getting what they&#39;re paying for, and responsible American salmon fishermen are being forced to compete with fraudulent products &quot;receiving less cash than they should be for their hard-won catch,&quot; according to the report.</p><p>And Warner says it&#39;s an environmental problem for those consumers who go the extra mile to consult seafood sustainability ratings like the Monterey Bay Aquarium&#39;s Seafood Watch, which ranks seafood as &quot;best choice,&quot; &quot;good alternative&quot; or &quot;avoid.&quot;</p><div id="res452554311"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Salmon for sale at a market." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/28/1280px-pike_place_market_-_silver_salmon_at_pure_food_fish_01_custom-583b33496a4c7e216bc8e892f3dd825469cc437e-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 408px; width: 620px;" title="Salmon for sale at a market. (Joe Mable/Wikimedia)" /></div><div><div><p>&quot;If someone is trying to purchase something rated as a &quot;best choice,&quot; like a wild Alaskan salmon, and is getting in its place something from a foreign country that has problems with sea lice or antibiotic use &mdash; if farmed &mdash; or was caught illegally, it could have serious ecological consequences,&quot; says Warner.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;Serious ecological consequences&quot; is strong language. If the marketplace swap is simply farmed salmon for wild, rather than a species threatened by overfishing, the damage to the environment may be less than the damage to a deceived diner&#39;s wallet. Afterall, the farmed salmon industry has come a long way from it&#39;s days as a poster child for bad aquaculture practices, says NOAA Fisheries spokesperson Jennie Lyons.</p><p>&quot;There are a lot of misconceptions about aquaculture, and farmed salmon,&quot; Lyons tells The Salt.</p><p>Salmon is the most popular fish in America. We consume impressive amounts of it &mdash; nearly 870 million pounds of a year. The majority of that, nearly two-thirds, come from farmed salmon, grown outside the U.S, despite the fact that American fishermen catch enough salmon to satisfy 80 percent of our domestic demand.</p><p>But global seafood supply chains are complex. Fish don&#39;t often travel in a straight line from fishermen to chef to plate. Approximately 70 percent of U.S. wild-caught salmon is exported, much of it to Asia for processing into tidy fillets. And at each step in that journey, information about the fish &mdash; where it was caught, how it was caught and the exact species &mdash; can get left behind. That&#39;s true even when the same salmon sent to China for processing is refrozen and shipped back to us &mdash; a head-scratching fish swap noted by author<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/07/01/327248504/the-great-fish-swap-how-america-is-downgrading-its-seafood-supply">&nbsp;Paul Greenberg</a>&nbsp;in American Catch.</p><p>Precisely how much of that salmon comes back to quell American appetites is unclear.</p><p>&quot;No one has yet given me a satisfying answer for how much of that is reimported,&quot; says Greenberg.</p><p>Warner says that&#39;s because no one is tracking it. This system creates conditions ripe for fraud and mislabeling. There are no traceability requirements in place that will follow a fish from the point where it was caught to its final place on your dinner plate.</p><p>&quot;We have no tracking of our fish through the supply chain. That&#39;s how something like illegal caught Russian salmon can enter into our supply chain,&quot; she says &mdash; and be mislabeled as &quot;pacific salmon&quot; or &quot;wild salmon.&quot;</p><p>And it is why Oceana is calling on the<a href="http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/20150315-presidential-task-force-releases-action-plan-to-combat-illegal-unreported-and-unregulated-fishingaand-seafood-fraud.html">&nbsp;President&#39;s Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud</a>&nbsp;to include salmon asaspecies at high risk for fraud, and to expand documentation requirements to all seafood entering the U.S. supply chain.</p><p>Steven Wilson, deputy director of the Office of International Affairs and<a href="http://www.seafood.nmfs.noaa.gov/">&nbsp;Seafood Inspection</a>&nbsp;at NOAA Fisheries, is a member of the task force. He, says issues of seafood fraud are on the government&#39;s radar, but says NOAA&#39;s own testing has not shown an uptick in salmon species substitutions.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re seeing an increase of seafood fraud as you move further down the supply chain, but we&#39;re not seeing an increase in the overall percentage being mislabeled,&quot; says Wilson. The further down the supply chain a fish goes, the likelier it is to be mislabeled he says &mdash; but he stresses that not all menu mislabeling is intentional.</p><p>&quot;Someone can make a simple mistake,&quot; Wilson says. &quot;They serve salmon on the menu, run out, buy more and wouldn&#39;t necessarily even think about it. It&#39;s very telling that salmon fraud identified in grocery stores was far less. Restaurants are the most susceptible.&quot;</p><p>His advice on avoiding salmon fraud echoes Oceana&#39;s: Ask questions &mdash; and lots of them. Look at the price you&#39;re paying for the salmon: If it&#39;s too good to be true, be cautious. Warner would add: Seek-out wild salmon in-season, and look for fish that are traceable back to the boat.</p><p>Wilson says it&#39;s important to keep the problem in perspective.</p><p>&quot;Is the consumer being defrauded? If the consumer definitely wants wild caught, they&#39;re not getting what they&#39;re paying for,&quot; he says. &quot;But what if they&#39;re paying less? If they&#39;re paying for Atlantic salmon, they&#39;re getting what they&#39;re paying for. What if they&#39;re paying for ambiance, a night out with good friends? [Then] they&#39;re getting what they&#39;re paying for. It&#39;s fuzzy. I&#39;m not condoning it, but how far do we go, and what&#39;s the punishment?&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/28/452539969/that-salmon-on-the-menu-might-be-fraudulent-especially-in-winter?ft=nprml&amp;f=452539969"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 28 Oct 2015 11:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/salmon-menu-might-be-fraud-especially-winter-113532 Family charged after ex-Illinois caseworker accused of theft http://www.wbez.org/news/family-charged-after-ex-illinois-caseworker-accused-theft-113405 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_080501044590_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois prosecutors say they&#39;ve charged several family members of a former Illinois Department of Human Services caseworker who has pleaded not guilty to misappropriating more than $700,000.</p><p>Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan&#39;s office said Monday that four family members of 63-year-old Debra Moore of Baytown, Texas, and formerly of&nbsp;Chicago, were charged.</p><p>Two of Moore&#39;s relatives have pleaded not guilty to felony charges of continuing financial crimes enterprise. Police have issued arrest warrants and are seeking two other relatives.</p><div><p>Moore is accused of selling LINK cards and adding unauthorized benefits to accounts of family and friends in exchange for cash payments. She&#39;s suspected of adding the unauthorized benefits to ineligible recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program between 2004 and 2013.</p><p>The case is in Cook County court.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 19 Oct 2015 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/family-charged-after-ex-illinois-caseworker-accused-theft-113405 As cybercrime proliferates, so does demand for insurance against it http://www.wbez.org/news/cybercrime-proliferates-so-does-demand-insurance-against-it-113315 <p><p>Cybercrime is costing the global economy&nbsp;<a href="https://www.allianz.com/en/press/news/studies/150909_businesses-must-prepare-for-cyber-risks.html/">nearly half a trillion dollars a year</a>, according to the insurer Allianz. It&#39;s a major threat to businesses, which are looking for ways to protect themselves. One option is cybercrime insurance.</p><p>Mark Patterson found out the hard way that firewalls and anti-virus software are no longer enough protection for a small business.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/09/15/440252972/when-cyber-fraud-hits-businesses-banks-may-not-offer-protection">Cybercrooks hacked into the email system of PATCO</a>, Patterson&#39;s construction company in Sanford, Maine, and ordered money transfers from its bank account.</p><p>&quot;Over the period of five consecutive nights, excluding weekends, $100,000 a night had been taken out of our checking account, and we were down about $545,000,&quot; he recalls.</p><p>Patterson&#39;s bank refused to reimburse him. He sued and finally won, but legal costs ate up most of what the bank paid. After that experience, Patterson boosted his security and bought cybercrime insurance.</p><p>But most companies aren&#39;t insured for cybercrime losses. In fact, only about one in five is. However, Chris Arehart, a vice president and cybercrime specialist at Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, says demand is now booming.</p><p>&quot;We have interest every day on this emerging topic, and it really has taken the world by storm,&quot; Arehart says.</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Computer Hacking And Old-Fashion Cons</strong></span></p><p>Chubb has added some cybercrime elements to its commercial crime policies over the past decade, and recently it added coverage for something called social engineering fraud, which Arehart says, often combines computer hacking and an old-fashioned con.</p><p>&quot;They may begin by researching online, using the wealth of information that we all share, to determine an appropriate mark within the company. They build up a pretext, a story that&#39;s as varied as the imagination of the criminal,&quot; he says.</p><p>Cybercriminals often penetrate a company&#39;s computer and email systems, and for a year or more watch and plan their attack. Then they strike.</p><p>One scenario might involve a fraudster impersonating a top company officer in Asia calling a lower level, U.S.-based employee. The fraudster knows the employee&#39;s boss&#39; name &mdash; and knows the boss is away &mdash; and asks the employee to handle an urgent, emergency wire transfer.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img 20="" 70="" a="" alleged="" alliance="" alt="" and="" ap="" at="" authorities="" been="" buy="" can="" class="image-original_image" computer="" countries="" cripple="" cyber-forensics="" cybercrimals="" department="" english="" for="" from="" gene="" hacked="" has="" in="" information="" j.="" justice="" largest-known="" malicious="" malware="" marketplace="" members-only="" more="" national="" online="" or="" other="" photo="" pittsburgh.="" sell="" software="" speaking="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_638634222060.jpg" steal="" style="height: 386px; width: 580px;" systems.="" targeted="" than="" that="" the="" title="In this photo taken July 14, 2015, FBI Supervisory Special Agent J. Keith Mularski, who heads the cybercrime squad at the agency’s Pittsburgh field office, displays a screenshot from the Darkcode website, top left, an English-language " to="" training="" using="" ve="" /></div><p>Cybercrimes like these are growing at an alarming rate, according to the FBI. Cyberfraud insurance can help protect companies from those losses.</p><p>But it&#39;s not a silver bullet, says Garrett Droege, who runs TechAssure, an association of companies that offer cybercrime insurance. Part of the problem, he says, is that many policies don&#39;t cover the latest scams.</p><p>&quot;Unfortunately, there&#39;s a lot of &#39;gotchas&#39; in this type of policy, just because it&#39;s evolved so quickly and the insurance companies are having a hard time innovating fast enough to keep up with the risks,&quot; he says.</p><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Risk Isn&#39;t Well Understood</strong></span></p><p>A company looking for coverage, Droege says, first needs to figure out its cyberrisk profile, then put protections and protocols in place and educate its workers. In fact, companies may not even be able to buy insurance unless they have that all in place, says Arehart, with Chubb Insurance.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re looking for companies that have strong controls in the first place, and then strong cultural controls that would prevent this type of fraud from making it past the first phone call or the first email that hits the company&#39;s computer systems,&quot; Arehart says.</p><p>Insurers are being selective because the ultimate risk they&#39;re taking is not well understood, Droege says.</p><p>&quot;Traditional insurance is based on sometimes hundreds of years of historical data,&quot; he says. &quot;They can look back, see where the losses came from, and they price accordingly. Where cyber, the market&#39;s still very, very juvenile.&quot;</p><p>Because criminal hackers are so proficient and because computer systems are so central to business, some analysts predict insurers could soon face catastrophic losses. But Droege says the industry has to step up.</p><p>&quot;We don&#39;t have a choice as an industry. We have to figure it out,&quot; he says. &quot;If the cyberrisk is so pervasive today, think, 10, 20 years into the future, when we&#39;re even more reliant on technology. Businesses cannot afford to deal with these things by themselves.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/10/12/445267832/as-cybercrime-proliferates-so-does-demand-for-insurance-against-it?ft=nprml&amp;f=445267832" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 13 Oct 2015 13:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cybercrime-proliferates-so-does-demand-insurance-against-it-113315 Medicare scammers taking advantage of low-income beneficiaries http://www.wbez.org/news/medicare-scammers-taking-advantage-low-income-beneficiaries-113229 <p><p>Cases of Medicare fraud are on the rise, nationally. <a href="http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/administrator-chicago-area-home-visiting-physician-practice-sentenced-more-seven-years-prison" target="_blank">Chicago&rsquo;s following the trend</a> -- it&rsquo;s actually a fraud hotspot. As of last month, 24 medical fraud indictments have been filed in federal court in Chicago this year, nearly doubling the total for 2014. Typically, a Medicare beneficiary is the target -- and scammers tend to take advantage of vulnerabilities of lower income people.</p><p>That&rsquo;s what happened to Arlene Gregory. She&rsquo;s in her 70s and doctor&rsquo;s visits are a part of her weekly schedule. She&rsquo;s had bladder cancer twice. She walks slowly, and sometimes with a limp because of a Baker&rsquo;s cyst behind her knee.</p><p>She thinks her condition made her an easy target -- and that&rsquo;s it&rsquo;s probably why a scammer approached her last summer at a food pantry.</p><p>The woman introduced herself as &ldquo;Kim&rdquo; and told Gregory she qualified to receive free services like house cleaning.</p><p>&ldquo;I fell hook, line and sinker. I was so happy that I could get all these benefits, somebody come in and do my floors,&rdquo; she recalled.</p><p>But soon after the welcome housework help, Gregory started getting unsolicited visits from nurses and a doctor.</p><p>&ldquo;I kept telling them, I don&rsquo;t want a nurse coming out once a week. That&rsquo;s not necessary. I have my regular home physician. &lsquo;Oh, well you got to have the nurse to be eligible for the other benefits,&rsquo;&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Gregory showed the pages and pages of Medicare statements she received, billing thousands of dollars for those unnecessary visits.</p><p>A doctor&rsquo;s involvement in a scheme like that is key, because a physician has to sign off on treatments.</p><p>In Gregory&rsquo;s case, she was also given medical equipment, like a cheap back brace that didn&rsquo;t fit. Then, there were the bills for services she never got, like physical therapy and psychiatric treatment. But someone was paid by Medicare for all of these unnecessary treatments.</p><p>Kim even told Gregory that if she stuck with her long enough, Kim could get her a chairlift, like she did for another client.</p><p>Finally after several weeks, Gregory mentioned all the extra attention she&rsquo;d been getting to her regular doctor, during a routine check-up.</p><p>&ldquo;She like hit the fan. She was very upset. She says, &lsquo;Arlene, these benefits are for people who are homebound,&rsquo;&rdquo; Gregory recalled.</p><p>Stories like Gregory&rsquo;s are pretty common. Jeff Jamrosz, a supervisory special agent for the FBI in Chicago, said fraudsters are looking for doubly-vulnerable patients.</p><p>&ldquo;In the low-income area, if you have a high concentration of Medicare beneficiaries with low income, maybe that cash kickback is enough to get it,&rdquo; Jamrosz said.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_744802214036.jpg" style="height: 260px; width: 350px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="In this June 18, 2015, photo, Shantanu Agrawal, deputy administrator for program integrity and director of the center for program integrity at the Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services, speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington. Attorney General Loretta Lynch listens at left. Medicare says its computerized fraud prevention system identified $454 million in problematic payments and generated a financial return for the taxpayer of $10 for every dollar spent last year. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)" /></div><p>The FBI calls these scammers &ldquo;marketers.&rdquo; Jamrosz said the marketers will cold call beneficiaries -- or show up at soup kitchens and food pantries -- to recruit potential patients.</p><p>&ldquo;&lsquo;Hey, who has a red, white and blue card?&rsquo; Referring to their Medicare card. &lsquo;I&rsquo;ll give you $50 if you come with me to the doctor.&rsquo; And that&rsquo;s the way in which these patients are found,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>The FBI reports that general medical fraud is quite high, despite strong efforts to stem it -- like a moratorium on new home health care businesses and stricter sentences for scammers.</p><p>But Jamrosz said people are still cashing in: Over a 60-day billing cycle, a home health care fraudster can collect $2500 off a single patient.</p><p>&ldquo;Let&rsquo;s say you do that with a 100 patients. Then the numbers get significantly larger, faster,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Jamrosz said home health care billing for Medicare in Illinois amounts to about $1 billion a year.</p><p>Last year, the federal government recovered more than $3 billion from Medicare fraud schemes -- <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/chicago/press-releases/2015/twelve-charged-in-chicago-as-part-of-largest-national-medicare-fraud-takedown-in-history" target="_blank">2014 was a record high for fraud prosecutions, nationally.</a> Health and Human Services officials predict this could be another banner year. &nbsp;</p><p>Jamrosz isn&rsquo;t sure why fraud cases are up -- but said it could be better data collection. He said investigators can spot irregularities before wrongdoing is reported, but it&rsquo;s still difficult to stop.</p><p>&ldquo;The minute we turn off one faucet, they&rsquo;re going to open up another one, or they&rsquo;re going to go somewhere else. It&rsquo;s a very delicate balance because we want people to have care when they need care,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Someday Gregory might actually need home health care, which is why it&rsquo;s good she worked with her doctor and a seniors organization to resolve the fraudulent billing. If she hadn&rsquo;t, she might have trouble getting care in the future.</p><p>For now, Gregory still goes to the same food pantry where she met Kim -- but she&rsquo;s cautious about who she talks to and what information she shares.</p><p><em>Susie An is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="http://ttps://twitter.com/soosieon" target="_blank">@soosieon</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/medicare-scammers-taking-advantage-low-income-beneficiaries-113229 Chicago-area doctor pleads guilty to $4M Medicare fraud http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-area-doctor-pleads-guilty-4m-medicare-fraud-112870 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_970494565501.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A physician from&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;western suburbs has pleaded guilty to federal charges he cost Medicare ($4 million) by approving unnecessary treatments.</p><p>Federal prosecutors say Dr. Arthur Davida of Bloomingdale-based Home Care Physicians Inc. entered the plea Tuesday in&nbsp;Chicago. They say he certified patients as being homebound even though they weren&#39;t, allowing Medicare to receive bills from home-health agencies for treatments that weren&#39;t medically necessary.</p><p>A plea agreement states that Davida certified the patients as confined to their homes because he was worried the agencies would stop sending him referrals.</p><p>The 62-year-old Bloomingdale man is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 16. He faces up to ten years in prison for the health care fraud charge.</p><p>&mdash; <em>The Associated Press</em></p></p> Wed, 09 Sep 2015 09:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-area-doctor-pleads-guilty-4m-medicare-fraud-112870 Drug addicts sent from Puerto Rico may be victims of ID theft in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/news/drug-addicts-sent-puerto-rico-may-be-victims-id-theft-chicago-112325 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Joel%20%281%29.JPG" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Joel says he was never able to retrieve the personal documents that Segunda Vida, a 24-hour group for addicts in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, took from him. Later, he learned that his identity was being used by someone else when his unemployment benefits were frozen.(WBEZ/Odette Yousef)" /></div><div>After we aired a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/puerto-rico-exports-its-drug-addicts-chicago-111852">story</a> about Puerto Rican drug addicts who were sent to unlicensed 24-hour group treatment programs in Chicago, we heard from lots of listeners. They were disturbed by one particular detail in reporter Adriana Cardona-Maguigad&rsquo;s investigation: that the groups routinely confiscate addicts&rsquo; identifying documents, and sometimes don&rsquo;t return them.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In fact, in a tension-filled scene in Cardona-Maguigad&rsquo;s story, she accompanied one man to retrieve his documents from one of these treatment programs, a place called Segunda Vida.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><iframe frameborder="no" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/213554791&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></div><blockquote><div><strong>Listen: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/drug-addicts-sent-puerto-rico-may-be-victims-id-theft-chicago-112325#playlist">More stories and conversations about the pipeline of addicts from Puerto Rico to Chicago</a></strong></div></blockquote><div><p>Our listeners wrote us to ask: What are these groups doing with the addicts&rsquo; papers? If they&rsquo;re really trying to keep those documents safe, as Cardona-Maguigad was <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/554/transcript">told</a> by a founder of Segunda Vida, then why would they keep the papers even after an addict leaves? Could they be selling these addicts&rsquo; identities on the black market?</p><p>It turns out, where Puerto Ricans are concerned, there&rsquo;s added reason for suspicion. Puerto Ricans&rsquo; identities are especially valuable, because they&rsquo;re U.S. citizens -- with Social Security numbers -- and Spanish names.</p><p>In a federal case against an alleged Puerto Rican identity <a href="http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/50-individuals-charged-puerto-rico-allegedly-trafficking-identities-puerto-rican-us">trafficking ring</a>, law enforcement agents found that a set that included a birth certificate and Social Security card could fetch up to $2,500 on the black market. With that, an undocumented immigrant from South or Central America could obtain work authorization, a line of credit or even a U.S. passport.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/puerto-rico-exports-its-drug-addicts-chicago-111852">Puerto Rico exports its drug addicts to Chicago</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>I started hanging out in the same Back-of-the-Yards neighborhood where Cardona-Maguigad found many addicts in her story. I thought, if I could just ask a few of them to share their Social Security numbers with me, we could find out what&rsquo;s happening with their personal information. Most of the men I found refused to share that data. They told me they&rsquo;d gotten their documents back when they left the treatment programs, and they didn&rsquo;t have reason to suspect foul play.</p><p>But then I met Joel.</p><p>He can&rsquo;t recall when he was sent to Chicago for treatment, but he, too, dropped out of rehab at Segunda Vida. Most mornings, I found him loafing around outside, making friendly chit-chat with other street characters. But he&rsquo;s still very much lost in the haze of his heroin addiction.</p><p>&ldquo;When you go back to this, you get totally lost,&rdquo; he told me one day, speaking in Spanish. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t even know what day it is.&rdquo;</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">&lsquo;It appeared I was working in Alabama&rsquo;</span></p><p>I&rsquo;m not using Joel&rsquo;s last name, to protect his identity. At 34, he said the only identification he carries is a photocopy of an Illinois state ID. Like others who went to Segunda Vida for treatment, he surrendered his documents to the people running the program. Confiscating identifying papers is common practice at these kinds of unofficial treatment facilities. When he left, he said he didn&rsquo;t get his documents back. He tried, returning to the residence several times, but eventually he gave up.</p><p>Later, Joel learned that his identity was being used by someone else. He discovered it when he found that his unemployment benefits had been frozen.</p><p>&ldquo;When I went to the unemployment office I was told that they had to stop payment because it appeared I was working in Alabama and I had additional income there,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Joel shared his Social Security number with me, and with it, I got a rundown of his earnings over the years. What I found were classic signs of identity theft.</p><p>First, Joel said he hasn&rsquo;t held a steady job in years. He recalled working at a corrugated paper factory in Chicago and some brief stints canning jalapenos and olives. But his record shows continuous earnings for nearly a decade -- roughly $30,000 a year since 2006. Plus, the earnings swing erratically. One year it&rsquo;s as high as $52,000, and another, it&rsquo;s less than $16,000. And a lot the work is with temporary staffing agencies and food processing companies -- two industries known for hiring undocumented immigrants.</p><p>Because it looked suspicious, I took what I found to a man named George Rodriguez. Rodriguez described himself as a founder of Segunda Vida and a former addict himself. He denied that the program ever sold addicts&rsquo; identities, and said people always get their papers when they leave.</p><p>Clearly that was not the case with Joel. And soon I found that he&rsquo;s not the only one in this situation. In fact, the next guy I met had an even wackier story.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">&lsquo;My credit was ruined&rsquo;</span></p><p>Juan, 40, was told that the rehab program that he went to &ldquo;lost&rdquo; his papers.</p><p>&ldquo;They kept my papers, my Social Security card, my ID, my birth certificate, everything,&rdquo; he said in Spanish.</p><p>Then last year, he tried to get a car loan. That&rsquo;s when he got his first inkling that something was up with his personal information.</p><p>&ldquo;They said no because my credit was ruined,&rdquo; he said.</p>So I took Juan&rsquo;s Social Security Number, too, and showed what I found to several experts. Here&rsquo;s a snapshot:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/image%20%281%29.png" title="Juan, a drug addict from Puerto Rico, arrived in Chicago in 2003. That same year, earnings associated with his Social Security Number rose dramatically." /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div><p>&ldquo;Wow. Well. I know they say America&rsquo;s the Land of Opportunity, but, boy, has his income jumped since arriving on the mainland,&rdquo; said William Kresse, a professor at Governors State University and an expert on identity theft, on seeing Juan&rsquo;s incomes.</p><p>The first red flag Kresse identified was the year that Juan&rsquo;s income jumped significantly.</p><p>&ldquo;Suddenly in 2003, the year that he was brought to the Chicago area, it jumps to almost $30,000, and then almost $44,000. And, oh my goodness, $116,000, almost $168,000,&rdquo; said Kresse. &ldquo;Yeah, this is remarkable.&rdquo;</p><p>There were even earnings during times that Juan was in jail for theft and residential burglary. His records paint a frenetic picture, of a guy processing beef in Washington state, removing snow in Illinois, working at a Wendy&rsquo;s fast food restaurant and holding thirteen other jobs&hellip; all in a single year.</p><p>There are some things we can&rsquo;t say for sure. We can&rsquo;t say that Juan and Joel&rsquo;s identities were sold by the drug rehab programs. We can&rsquo;t say that everyone who&rsquo;s gone to one of these programs is a victim of identity theft. We can&rsquo;t even say for sure that Juan and Joel didn&rsquo;t sell their identities themselves. I asked, and they both said they didn&rsquo;t. But federal law enforcement officials have found that some Puerto Rican addicts do that for a bit of cash.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-dart-investigate-unlicensed-rehab-centers-111938">Sheriff calls on feds to investigate Puerto Rican agencies that send addicts to Chicago</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>That said, Bill Kresse said there is still enough here to warrant further action.</p><p>&ldquo;Definite red flags to show that there&rsquo;s probable cause to go ahead with a further investigation, in fact a criminal investigation into this,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The numbers alone should justify a criminal investigation.&rdquo;</p><p>Kresse wasn&rsquo;t the only one to say this. We found lots of officials who said there&rsquo;s enough here to warrant concern. A federal prosecutor. A former Chicago police officer. Two former FBI agents. Someone with the Social Security Administration. The Illinois Department of Human Services. They agree that if these treatment places are organized schemes to set up vulnerable drug addicts for identity theft, somebody should go after them.</p><p>But nobody agrees on who should look into it.</p><p>Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan&rsquo;s office said it&rsquo;s a matter for Chicago Police or the FBI. Chicago Police and the FBI said there&rsquo;s nothing to investigate if victims don&rsquo;t report a crime. Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn&rsquo;t talk about whether it&rsquo;s investigating something. And the Social Security Administration said it lacks jurisdiction to investigate identity theft.</p><p>So we know we have something. We just don&rsquo;t have anyone willing to investigate it.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/3512712648/36dee91a3ceeb66e8253372b9e042d0c_400x400.jpeg">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></div><p><span style="font-size:24px;">More stories and conversations about the pipeline of addicts from Puerto Rico to Chicago<a name="playlist"></a></span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="350" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/121617509&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 22:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/drug-addicts-sent-puerto-rico-may-be-victims-id-theft-chicago-112325 Inspector General finds questionable conduct in CPS http://www.wbez.org/news/inspector-general-finds-questionable-conduct-cps-111338 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/CPS IG LUNCH PHOTO.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-d231fa94-bb41-12b8-a409-b2b852f480ad">Parents who try to sneak their kids into Chicago&rsquo;s selective schools through address fraud have been put on notice.</p><p dir="ltr">A new report by Chicago Public Schools inspector general, Nicholas Schuler, details several cases of admissions fraud investigated by his office over the last year. And his recommendations range from kicking the students out to firing the CPS staff who abetted it.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I hope this sends a message that people need to follow the rules and the rules apply to everybody,&rdquo; Schuler said. &ldquo;And when fraud is discovered there is going to be responsibility for that and the result might be that their child might be disenrolled from the school.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Departments/Documents/OIG_FY_2014_AnnualReport.pdf">This year&rsquo;s report</a>, which went live Monday morning, includes the usual array of residency violations, kickback schemes, fake purchases and tuition fraud. But it also documents the desperate acts of parents trying to get their kids into selective schools, administrators trying to fudge their dropout rates and vendors trying to get the inside track on city contracts.</p><p dir="ltr">On Sunday night, CPS released a statement to WBEZ, saying &quot;Chicago Public Schools is committed to working with the Office of the Inspector General to eliminate corruption, fraud and waste across the District. &nbsp;The annual OIG report is a testament of our cooperation and demonstrates we do not tolerate any wrongdoing, and CPS has either addressed or is addressing all the issues in the report.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">Although the report cannot name names, WBEZ has been able to fill in some identities through media reports, public documents and confirmations by sources. The purview of the OIG is mainly restricted to CPS employees and so does not represent all violations that occur in the system.</p><p dir="ltr">In 2011, the district replaced race with socio-economics status (by address) as a factor for admission to selective enrollment high schools. This year&rsquo;s report is the first to investigate abuse of this factor by more than a dozen students at six selective enrollment high schools. Another six cases involved CPS employees who had falsified their addresses to appear less affluent and gain their children easier admission. Most of the children identified in the report have been kicked out of the schools, and most of the CPS employees have faced or will face dismissals.</p><p dir="ltr">Monday, CPS said it would consider audits of selective enrollment students in the future.</p><p dir="ltr">The report further detailed $657,000 in back tuition owed by suburban residents who were illegally sending their kids to CPS schools.</p><p dir="ltr">Another prominent case in this year&rsquo;s document involves former Gwendolyn Brooks Preparatory High School principal Dushon Brown. According to the report, on the eve of the 2010-11 school year, she asked a CPS administrator to allow a student who&rsquo;d neither applied for nor taken the selective enrollment exam, to enroll in her school. When the administrator refused, Brown, reportedly &ldquo;phoned a state legislator&rdquo; who phoned the administrator again asking for an exception. The attempts were not successful. The OIG recommended discipline for the principal in its 2012 report.</p><p dir="ltr">In its 2013 report, the OIG detailed a case in which Principal Brown and a Gwendolyn Brooks school operations manager found a bank account opened by the parent booster club of the building&rsquo;s previous occupant, a Catholic school. The report says a &ldquo;local bank inexplicably allowed&rdquo; Brown and the operations manager to take control of the $186,235 of funds and spend $116,974, but never included it in the &ldquo;school&rsquo;s internal accounts ledger.&rdquo; The OIG recommended discipline for the principal, which was still pending at the time of the last report. In today&rsquo;s report the OIG reports that Brown was terminated in 2014 and classified as a &ldquo;Do Not Hire.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The report follows up on another 2012 case in which the OIG found a former chief area officer took nearly $17,000 in travel and gifts (including a $10,000 scholarship) from textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In exchange, according to the report, the CPS officer steered the publisher to nearly $300,000 in business &ldquo;through no-bid, sole source deals.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Last July the CPS Board entered into a settlement with the publisher requiring it to pay a $250,000 fine and to fund an independent monitor to oversee these issues. In addition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt had to train its employees to comply with board ethics policies.</p><p dir="ltr">Another outstanding ethics issue tackled in this year&rsquo;s report involves a dispute between two of the nation&rsquo;s largest food service providers, who were competing for the 2013 school food contract, valued at nearly $100 million a year. Food giant Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality charged that CPS school food chief (and former Aramark manager) Leslie Fowler showed favoritism to her former employer in the contract bidding process. The district asked the OIG to rule on the issue at the time, and it concluded that Fowler&rsquo;s actions &ldquo;did not violate applicable ethics policies.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">In its new report, however, the OIG says Fowler &ldquo;engaged in questionable conduct throughout the award process.&rdquo; This included dining twice with the president of Aramark during the process and telling fellow bid committee members that her boss did not want Chartwells to win the contract. The report further says that Fowler told &ldquo;staff members that she did not need to review (Aramark&rsquo;s bid) because she had written proposals for&rdquo; the company herself and Aramark knew what she wanted. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">In the process of the Fowler investigation, &ldquo;the OIG also learned that the administrator prodded subordinates to participate in a party game that made people feel uncomfortable.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Attempts to reach Fowler for comment through CPS were unsuccessful.</p><p dir="ltr">In the wake of the case, the OIG has recommended that CPS review the investigation to see &ldquo;if any further action regarding the administrator is warranted.&rdquo; It also recommended that the district &ldquo;review its RFP [contract bidding] policy and ensure adequate training for those involved in the process.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Aramark also<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/custodial-contract-causing-problems-start-school-year-110767"> received one of the nation&rsquo;s largest school custodial contracts </a>last year from CPS when the district privatized its cleaning crews. The Aramark takeover of the program has been met with &nbsp;district-wide complaints of dirty classrooms, theft, damaged materials and bad communication. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Another novel case in this year&rsquo;s report investigated a CPS high school that classified 296 students &nbsp;who dropped out (since 2009) as &ldquo;transfers,&rdquo; allegedly in order to improve its dropout numbers. The school said that the students were headed for GED programs, but Illinois law makes it clear that these students are to be counted as dropouts. Another 121 students at the school were classified as transfers, but the OIG says less than 5 percent of the cases was backed up with &ldquo;adequate written proof.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">In another case, the OIG says a high school principal was sending an average of 55 students a day to a kind of first period detention if they were more than 15 minutes tardy. The practice was done to discourage tardiness but the OIG said it occurred more than 10,000 times (recorded as &ldquo;school function&rdquo;) in the 2012-13 school year, resulting in hundreds of thousands of missed instruction minutes. Although principals have leeway to be creative with attendance programs the OIG recommended CPS implement more consistent practices.</p><p dir="ltr">Other cases, among the OIG&rsquo;s 280 this year, dealt with full time CPS teachers who were also employed as full time Chicago Police Department officers; a phony billing scheme at Michele Clark High School that resulted in $870,000 in fraud and principals who fraudulently enrolled their family members as students for a few key weeks to boost attendance numbers.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Mon, 05 Jan 2015 11:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/inspector-general-finds-questionable-conduct-cps-111338 Sheriff warns Indian immigrants of scam http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-warns-indian-immigrants-scam-107079 <p><p>Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is <a href="http://www.cookcountysheriff.com/press_page/press_AsianIndianComScam_05_07_2013.html">warning Indian immigrants about a phone scam </a>that&rsquo;s recently targeted several victims in unincorporated Des Plaines. Victims received calls in which they were told they owed money to the Internal Revenue Service or to a collections agency, and that failure to pay would result in arrest or deportation.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The amounts actually vary from victim to victim in the reports that we&rsquo;ve had, but in some cases it&rsquo;s been in the thousands,&rdquo; said Sophia Ansari, Press Secretary at the Cook County Sheriff&rsquo;s Office. Ansari said the caller often instructed victims to pay with a replenishable debit card.</p><p dir="ltr">The perpetrator spoke to the victims in English, Hindi, Gujarati and other Indian dialects.</p><p dir="ltr">Ansari said anyone who receives a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or from a collections agency should record the name and number of the caller, and to contact the agency that the caller purports to represent.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="http://www.twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 08 May 2013 13:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-warns-indian-immigrants-scam-107079 Chicago's Sacred Heart Hospital raided by feds in kickback scheme, four arrested http://www.wbez.org/news/chicagos-sacred-heart-hospital-raided-feds-kickback-scheme-four-arrested-106672 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/sacredheart.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Federal authorities raided Sacred Heart Hospital on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side Tuesday morning. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">The hospital&rsquo;s owner and chief financial officer were arrested, along with four doctors.</p><p dir="ltr">The U.S. States attorney&rsquo;s office alleges hospital officials paid kickbacks to physicians in return for referrals of Medicare and Medicaid patients.&nbsp;Prosecutors say about $2 million in Medicare reimbursement payments were seized Tuesday from various bank accounts.</p><p dir="ltr">An FBI spokeswoman in Chicago, Joan Hyde, confirmed warrants were served during a raid Tuesday morning at the hospital.</p><p dir="ltr">Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Jim Bailey says the hospital continues to provide ongoing care. He says the hospital has no additional information on the investigation.</p><p dir="ltr">Though not charged, <a href="https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1g80TU7KaJJUFZSdDczOXNBZWs/edit?usp=sharing" target="_blank">the affidavit</a> also suggests the hospital unnecessarily admitted patients to the emergency room and performed unneeded tests to increase billing. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">The investigation is also probing claims that the hospital performed unnecessary tracheostomies to collect substantial insurance reimbursements.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Today&rsquo;s arrests demonstrate our commitment to enforcing the laws intended to prevent abuses of the Medicare and Medicaid programs and to preserve the ability of those programs to provide appropriate medical services to the elderly and the needy,&rdquo; said Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.</p><p dir="ltr">Arrests included:</p><ul dir="ltr"><li style="">Edward J Novak, 58, of Park Ridge, Sacred Heart&rsquo;s owner and chief executive officer</li><li style="">Roy M Payawal, 64, of Burr Ridge, executive vice president and chief financial officer</li><li style="">Doctors Venkateswara R. Kuchipudi, of Oak Brook; Percy Conrad May Jr., 75, of Chicago; Subir Maitra, 73, of Chicago and Shanin Moshiri, 57, of Chicago.</li></ul><p dir="ltr">All six defendants are scheduled to have their initial court appearance April 16.</p><p dir="ltr">The Illinois Department of Public Health says its now assessing patient care at the Chicago hospital.</p><p>The department said in a news release Tuesday afternoon that it&#39;s at Sacred Heart Hospital to assess the facility&#39;s ability to care for patients and will conduct a full inspection of the facility to see if there are any state or federal violations.</p><p>Hospital officials said they are cooperating with federal authorities.</p><p>If you or a loved one has received unnecessary treatment at Sacred Heart, or any hospital, you can report it at <a href="http://www.stopmedicarefraud.gov">www.stopmedicarefraud.gov</a></p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her&nbsp;@<a href="http://twitter.com/shannon_h" target="_blank">shannon_h</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 12:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicagos-sacred-heart-hospital-raided-feds-kickback-scheme-four-arrested-106672 Prosecutors charge 32 people from Chicago area with lying to collect unemployment checks http://www.wbez.org/news/prosecutors-charge-32-people-chicago-area-lying-collect-unemployment-checks-105109 <p><p>Thirty-two people from the Chicago area are facing criminal charges for illegally collecting unemployment checks. The U.S. Attorney&rsquo;s office in Chicago is bringing the charges against those who allegedly filed for unemployment improperly.</p><p>Prosecutors say the 32 either had a job or were under-reporting their income. Federal prosecutors say the defendants allegedly collected anywhere from $19,000 to $38,000.</p><p>Twenty-seven are charged with felonies; five are charged with misdemeanor theft.</p><p>The felony counts carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, as well as mandatory restitution. The misdemeanor counts have a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.</p><p>Jay Rowell heads Illinois&rsquo; Department of Employment Security says there is an uptick of fraudulent claims.</p><p>&quot;Since there have been extended federal benefits, you know, there&rsquo;s more of an incentive for people to attempt to defraud the system,&quot; Rowell said.</p><p>Rowell said he also wants to crack down on other cases of unemployment fraud in Illinois, smaller than what the feds have allegedly found.</p><p>&quot;In my mind, paying out one penny improperly is something that needs to be addressed,&quot; he said.</p><p>Federal prosecutors say the 32 defendants defrauded the unemployment office of nearly $900,000 in total.</p><p>Illinois unemployment benefits are funded primarily by employers, while IDES administrative costs are funded primarily by the federal government.</p></p> Thu, 24 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/prosecutors-charge-32-people-chicago-area-lying-collect-unemployment-checks-105109