State Worker Sentenced for Fraud Involving Nonexistent Kids

Ebony Martin made up names, Social Security Numbers of three children so her boyfriend could receive more state aid, prosecutors said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A state caseworker was sentenced Monday for furnishing her boyfriend with a set of imaginary triplets so that he would be eligible for collecting extra food aid.

    Ebony Martin of Maywood used her position as an employee of the Illinois Department of Human Services to create the fake file for her boyfriend, Keith Jones of Lisle, so that he could receive more government food aid, according to prosecutors.

    The file included names of the imaginary triplets along with Social Security numbers.

    "She was a government official who abused her trust. The crime couldn't have been done without her," said one of Martin's prosecutors, DuPage County Assistant State's Attorney Diane Michalak.

    DuPage County Judge Robert Kleeman sentenced Martin to 30 days in jail, three years of probation, and $21,000 in restitution for the stolen food aid.

    Kleeman explained in sentencing that the scam was "more than just a bad decision" it was also an abuse of trust, according to the Daily Herald.

    "The public placed its trust in this defendant. She abused it. There's no other way to put it. She knowingly and intentionally gave away public funds."

    Authorities charged Martin earlier in the year with theft, official misconduct and state benefit fraud. They didn't let Jones get off scot-free either, charging him with felony theft and state benefit fraud as well. Though he was charged in March, police said they're still searching for him.

    Martin worked at the Department of Health Services' Villa Park office. She is expected to be fired for her actions.