This is a lot of money, how did they get away with it for so long?
Cook County Employees Charged in $1.6 Million Scheme
Produced by Ammad Omar on Friday, January 25, 2008
Three current and former Cook County employees are among a group of people accused of defrauding banks and government agencies of over $1.6 million.
The Cook County President's Office of Employment Training—or POET for short—distributes government funds to groups that teach job skills to employees.
Rudolph Sanchez, Roberto Rivera, and Ronald Harper were all high ranking POET officials. All three were arrested yesterday, for what prosecutors call their "involvement in a series of fraudulent schemes."
The trio allegedly helped an unqualified company named United Front get a POET certification. That certification resulted in more than $400,000 in government money flowing to United Front. Prosecutors say the group did little to no actual work.
Five United Front employees were also charged. Three of those defendants were ministers at Christian Hope Church on the South Side of Chicago. Defense attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment.