Down the Drain


Each year, the government grants are awarded to help support a variety of programs, fund scientific research and studies and promote cultural enrichment. Grants stipulate that the recipients must be good stewards of the funds received and use them for their intended purpose, not to line the pockets of greedy criminals. (I bet you know where I am going with this.) A story published by The Times of Northwest Indiana details the participation of a former state government employee in a $13 million fraud case.

The article states that the former human resources director at the Illinois Department of Health left the agency and went to work for a security company which just happened to receive a $2 million contract to perform background checks on nursing home residents. The security company received $300 for each background check conducted. The former health department employee paid her former chief of staff a kickback between $35 and $40 for each check performed. (There was a lot of back scratching going on there.) According to the story, the former agency boss received approximately $433,000 in illegal compensation.

The 49-year-old health agency human resources director pleaded guilty to bribery, theft and tax evasion. She is facing 51 months in prison and will likely have to pay restitution of $173,000 for filing false income tax returns. She’ll also pay restitution for bribery.

This case is part of a larger scheme that funneled millions of dollars of state grants and contracts to a Chicago businessman, who is awaiting trial for his part in the scheme. (Imagine an enormous amount of taxpayer money being poured down the drain.) Unfortunately, grant fraud is susceptible to fraud just as any other government program. Let’s hope these criminals will receive appropriate punishment for their fraudulent deeds.


Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Former Illinois Health Official Pleads Guilty in $13M Fraud Case,” published by The Times of Northwest Indiana on September 24, 2014.

SPRINGFIELD – A former human resources director at the Illinois Department of Health pleaded guilty to federal charges related to a $13 million grant fraud case.

Roxanne Jackson, 49, of Olympia Fields entered her plea Tuesday afternoon following charges of bribery, theft and tax evasion filed against her Monday by federal prosecutors. As part of an agreement, she will likely face a maximum of 51 months in prison and pay nearly $173,000 in restitution for filing false income tax returns. She will also pay restitution for bribery.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.