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State

10 in Chicago area accused of benefits fraud

CHICAGO – The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago has accused ten area residents of stealing a combined $1.27 million in separate Social Security fraud cases.

Prosecutors sometimes announce charges in separate cases to highlight the problem of individuals allegedly seeking to fraudulently obtain federal benefits.

In a Monday statement, prosecutors said that in six of the cases the defendants used false identities. Others allegedly continued receiving benefits from accounts of beneficiaries they supposedly knew were dead.

In the false identity cases, some of the defendants allegedly secured benefits by claiming they were disabled while simultaneously earning wages at a job using a different identity.

Each defendant faces a maximum 10-year prison term and a maximum $250,000 fine.

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