Ear Hustle

CPS Employee Accused of Defrauding School System Of $420,000

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A Chicago high school technology coordinator created a list of nine fake vendors as part of a fraudulent billing scheme that netted nearly $420,000, according to a report by the Chicago Board of Education’s Inspector General’s office.

In the midst of the investigation, the technology coordinator fled to California and was later found dead in Tijuana, Mexico, according to the IG’s report.

In the investigation of the high school technology coordinator, the inspector general found that between 2001 and 2011, the suspect lined up nine individuals to pose as CPS vendors, then had checks to the vendors delivered to a P.O. Box he opened in Evanston.

The coordinator subsequently forged the names of the vendor on the check and countersigned his own name before depositing the money in his own account, according to the report.

The misuse of school funds came to the light when the high school got a new principal, triggering an audit that showed more than $144,000 in suspect reimbursements to the employee’s personal credit card.

The suspect withdrew $70,000 from a personal bank account before fleeing, the report said.

The Inspector General has been working with federal investigators on the issue but no criminal charges have been filed. Sullivan’s office recommended that CPS initiate legal actions to recover the fraudulent payments.

Source: Chicago Tribune 

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