Two Buffalo Grove men charged in unemployment fraud case
Updated: January 23, 2013 12:22PM
CHICAGO — Two Buffalo Grove residents are among 32 Chicago area men charged with fraudulently obtaining thousands of dollars each in unemployment benefits from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, federal officials announced Wednesday.
Manusya Heinrichs, 44, of 261 Anthony Road; and Steven Steinberg, 61, of an undisclosed Buffalo Grove address; are accused with 30 other defendants of lying about their eligibility for benefits by either falsely claiming to be unemployed or under reporting their income. The fraudulently obtained benefits ranged from $19,399 to $38,798, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois.
Heinrichs allegedly defrauded IDES out of $27,950. He was charged with misdemeanor theft.
Steinberg already pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft for $19,680. The press release stated that he has repaid the entire amount and received a year of probation.
The combined loss totaled nearly $874,000 for the IDES, the report claims. Twenty-seven other defendants, mostly Chicago residents, face felony theft of federal funds charges.
The investigation concluded Jan. 22, according to federal officials, and involved the local U.S. Attorney’s office, the US Department of Labor and the U.S. Postal Service.
“The unemployment insurance program is intended to provide financial assistance to workers who are unemployed due to no fault of their own,” said James Vanderberg, special agent-in-charge of the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate those who allegedly engage in fraudulent schemes against this and other Department of Labor programs.”
In each case, restitution is mandatory and the felony theft counts carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The misdemeanor theft counts carry a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.