State: 1,100 Getting Unemployment Benefits in Jail

Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012  |  Updated 5:15 PM CDT
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State: 1,100 Getting Unemployment Benefits in Jail

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State officials say they have found about 1,100 inmates who improperly collected more than $2 million in unemployment benefits.

Illinois Department of Employment Security officials on Tuesday told The Associated Press several inmates collecting unemployment could face prosecution. Department spokesman Greg Rivara said  the agency will try to get recipients to voluntarily repay the money, and garnish state and federal tax returns to help recover the money.

One Cook County inmate collected almost $43,000.

Rivara said the department isn't sure yet how many people will be prosecuted. He said some cases may be too small to make charges worthwhile.

People collecting unemployment benefits have to certify every two weeks they're eligible. That includes showing they're available to work and looking for work.

A check of the rolls began earlier this summer.

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