In an ongoing investigation, dozens of Illinois state employees are facing allegations of fraudulently obtaining federal pandemic relief loans. The State Inspector General's Office has referred 177 cases, totaling $4.5 million, to law enforcement. The focus is on loans exceeding $20,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). While specific details remain undisclosed, preliminary findings indicate discrepancies in loan applications.
The accused individuals, primarily from the Department of Human Services (132 cases) and the Department of Children and Family Services (25 cases), are under scrutiny. To qualify for substantial PPP loans, businesses were required to demonstrate a gross income exceeding $100,000 in the previous year. The investigation, initiated in 2022, continues to unfold, with numerous cases still pending examination. While no charges have been filed yet, 20 employees at a Park Forest facility have been terminated, and 14 resigned due to suspected loan fraud.
The Illinois Attorney General's office is evaluating the evidence and emphasized the seriousness of these allegations.