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IDES

A state audit found the Illinois Department of Employment Security lost to fraud more than half of the $3.6 billion in federal COVID-19 dollars earmarked for out-of-work Illinoisans. The full scope of the unemployment fraud remains unknown.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security sent nearly $2 billion in unemployment benefits to crooks during the pandemic, losing more than half the federal dollars earmarked for out-of-work Illinoisans, according to a new audit.

The partial state report uncovered “unprecedented” levels of theft, showing the agency failed to “maintain accurate and complete” data on residents filing claims through the program. IDES previously admitted there were 212,000 false claims, but had refused to disclose the cost.

Auditors said this resulted in the vast majority of fraudsters being successful at stealing real Illinoisans’ identities and swiping their unemployment payments. In total, the department lost more than half of the $3.6 billion in pandemic funds promised to residents between July 2020 and June 2021.

Republican state lawmakers have decried the rampant fraud and blamed Gov. J.B. Pritzker for mismanaging the program rollout, which ranked seventh worst in the nation. IDES has attempted to downplay the losses.

IDES failures during the pandemic were widespread. It was months late in implementing a system to get federal dollars to the self-employed, allowed a data breach that exposed the private data of 32,483 unemployment applicants, made applicants wait months for benefits and at one point had a call backlog of 156,000 people awaiting help with their claims.

IDES administrators said they “stopped roughly $40 billion in fraudulent payments across state and federal programs” through the end of last year and have introduced new technologies to mitigate theft moving forward.

More here.

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RCBH

The Riding Club of Barrington Hills (RCBH) recently released their April newsletter.  Topics covered this month include:

  • State of the trails
  • Saturday morning trail rides
  • 4th of July parade
  • What’s happening at the Park District, and
  • Forest Preserve

A copy of the RCBH newsletter can be viewed and downloaded here.

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VBHPD Car

“The Barrington Hills Police Department is investigating multiple motor vehicle thefts which occurred early this morning, near Bateman Road and Route 68. Based on the circumstances surrounding these incidents, the Department urges residents to secure vehicles within a garage, whenever possible.

When not possible, it is recommended to remove all valuables, including garage door opener remotes, and to lock all doors.  Furthermore, it is also important to be aware that most vehicle-integrated garage door openers will still function when a vehicle’s ignition is off and no fob is present.

Above all, the Department earnestly requests residents ALWAYS remove keys and fobs from vehicles, regardless whether garaged or not. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.”

The VBHPD website can be found here.

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Crime,Scene,Cordon,Tape,Superimposed,Over,Chicago,Skyline

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal the other day explained what is happening to the once-great city of Chicago:

“The shooting in Buffalo on Saturday has horrified Americans, but it was massacre as usual in Chicago this weekend and few outside the Windy City noticed.”

There were more than 30 shot and several killed in all the city’s neighborhoods. It was violent last weekend and the weekend before.

But the violence wasn’t confined to the South and West Sides where it had been kept for years. Now it spreads into Chicago’s downtown, the commercial heart of the city, and the North Side, where tourists and people with money used to play.

One recent murder took place at the sculpture Chicago calls “the Bean.” It was once place where tourists, families, friends and dates would meet, downtown on magnificent Michigan Avenue. “The Bean” is now a staging ground for the street gangs.

“The Bean” is the place where they fire guns into crowds, where people are shot down. It was once a source of civic pride. No longer. No one with sense goes near “The Bean” at night.

Is this how a great city begins to die?

Why didn’t those outside Chicago want to pay much attention to another weekend of massacres in the city by the lake?

Because the politics just aren’t right. The Democrats and their media allies don’t see an advantage in re-examining the furies they helped unleash just two years ago in Chicago with the George Floyd riots, and once unleashed to fuel their own politics, the lawlessness really hasn’t stopped.

Read more here.

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Speed

Two drivers, one traveling at 103 mph and the other at 101 mph, were charged with speeding on Tuesday after being stopped on Coyne Station Road in unincorporated Huntley.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is urging the public to slow down after sheriff’s deputies caught two different drivers speeding over 100 mph in the same day near Huntley.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office said they stopped two drivers back to back on Tuesday who were recklessly speeding.

“Reckless speeding is dangerous and puts everyone on the road in danger,” the sheriff’s office said on social media. “Moms and dads with their children drive these roads. Families drive these roads. Your friends, neighbors, and loved ones drive these roads,” the sheriff’s office said.

Court records show deputies first stopped Aaron W. Dorweiler, 18, of Lake in the Hills, around 1:45 p.m.

Dorweiler was clocked on a police LiDAR speed gun traveling 101 mph in a 55 mph zone on Coyne Station Road south of Ernesti Road in unincorporated Huntley.

45 minutes later, deputies stopped a 17-year-old boy from Lake in the Hills around 1:45 p.m., court records show.

The teenager was clocked on a police LiDAR speed gun traveling 103 mph in a 55 mph zone in the same area on Coyne Station Road south of Ernesti Road in unincorporated Huntley.

Read more here.

Editorial note: Some just may view this report as a challenge

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Camera

The Illinois House approved a law calling for the installation of license plate reading cameras. Big Brother just wants to solve crime.

A new measure passed in the Illinois House would have cameras with license plate scanning abilities installed along highways – useful for fighting crime or for taxing vehicles for the miles they travel.

Unlike typical traffic cameras that photograph plates for an infraction, this new technology records license plate information regardless of wrongdoing.

Gov. J.B Pritzker insisted more surveillance cameras will reduce crime.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said there’s no need for privacy concerns, that the state isn’t spying on people and that no warrants are needed.

He, too, said the cameras are essential to curbing crime such as Chicago-area highway shootings.

“Technology is critical to defeating crime, funding for cameras using automated license plate reader technology to help us identify and catch suspects involved in expressway shootings, and other violence, and we welcome the responsible expansion of that technology across the state,” Dart said.

More here.

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barrington770330

A northwest suburban Chicago man was convicted by a federal jury Thursday of running a multi-million dollar retail crime ring, according to federal prosecutors.

After four days of trial, Artur Gilowski, 48, of Barrington, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Gilowski was ordered detained immediately after the verdict was read on Thursday.

According to evidence presented at trial, Gilowski’s coconspirators stole tens of thousands of products – valued at over $20 million – from brick-and-mortar retail stores in ChicagoFranklin Park and Texas, then shipped them to Gilowski, who sold the stolen goods on e-commerce websites Amazon and eBay, generating more than $11 million in profits.

The thieves traveled across the country in vehicles registered under false names and used “booster skirts” (garments with concealment pouches for stolen goods) and electronic transmitters designed to disrupt retailers’ security tags and loss-prevention measures. Using aliases, they rented storage lockers where they kept the stolen items until they could be shipped to interstate and foreign customers via the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx.

More here.

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Abandoned Car

A damaged, stolen vehicle was found in Barrington Hills, according to Barrington Hills police.

At 6:50 a.m. Sunday, Barrington Hills police responded to reports of a male suspect approaching residents on foot on the 200 block of County Line Road, authorities said. Authorities described the man as possibly Hispanic, wearing black clothes and a white baseball cap.

Responding officers located a stolen vehicle at the 200 block of Steeplechase Road. Authorities said the vehicle had been found crashed into nearby trees and abandoned.

The same type of vehicle was stolen from a nearby jurisdiction that same morning, police said. Authorities believe that both incidents are related.

Barrington Hills police are asking that residents be vigilant in securing their vehicles, as there has been an increase in vehicle thefts.

More here.

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VBHPD Car

“Local police departments have experienced an increase in stolen vehicles during the late evening or early morning hours, specifically targeting unlocked vehicles with the keys or key fobs left inside the unattended parked vehicles. Oftentimes, stolen vehicles are used to commit other serious crimes.

On April 11th at 6:50 AM, Barrington Hills officers responded to a suspicious person call in the 200 block of County Line Road, for a report of a male subject approaching residences on foot. The subject was described as male, possibly Hispanic, wearing black clothes and a white baseball cap. Officers responding to this incident, located a vehicle in the 200 block of Steeplechase Road that had been crashed into the trees and left abandoned. The vehicle was stolen from a nearby jurisdiction earlier this morning. We believe these two incidents are connected and our investigation leads us to believe the person has left the area.

Our message remains the same as always: please be vigilant in securing your vehicle. If possible, park your vehicle inside your garage, make sure your doors are locked and your windows are completely up. Remove all valuable items from your vehicle and make sure your key or key fob is not kept inside your vehicle. If you have a home alarm system and/or security video system, make sure they are in working order. Additionally, call 911 immediately rather than waiting to report suspicious activity.”

VBHPD

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Citing a BGA investigation, nine lawmakers requested a funding freeze in the wake of former House Speaker Michael Madigan’s 22-count federal indictment on charges he traded his office to enrich himself and his friends.

Ann Williams

State Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, leads a group of lawmakers calling to freeze payments on projects earmarked by indicted former House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Following a review by state bureaucracies, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office has lifted a freeze on funding for projects earmarked by Illinois’ now-indicted former House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The temporary freeze came after a group of nine Democratic state representatives requested it in the wake of Madigan’s 22-count indictment on corruption charges on March 2.

“Although some of the funding for these projects may have already been allocated,” said the March 7 letter submitted to Pritzker by the lawmakers. “We request another layer of review to determine whether they were an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.”

The lawmakers cited a Jan. 21 investigation by the Better Government Association, published in the Chicago Sun-Times, that found four projects included by Madigan in a 2019 infrastructure bill all benefited those to whom the former speaker has personal, professional or political ties.

But two days after their initial letter to Pritzker the same group of lawmakers, led by State Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, backtracked and asked Pritzker to unfreeze the funding after getting pushback from other lawmakers in the state’s Latino caucus.

“They and other community leaders have been vocal advocates for these projects, and they remain vital investments in their communities,” the lawmakers wrote in a second letter to Pritzker. “We stand behind their need to get these projects finished.”

Read more from the Better Government Association here.

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