Woman pleads guilty to taking $4K in unearned payments from IDHS

SHARE Woman pleads guilty to taking $4K in unearned payments from IDHS
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Janene Wright-Stephenson | Illinois State Police

A Rockford woman has been convicted of collecting more than $4,000 in payments from the Illinois Department of Human Services for work she didn’t do.

Janene Wright-Stephenson, 50, pleaded guilty Jan. 27 to a class 3 felony count of theft, according to a statement from Illinois State Police.

Wright-Stevenson worked for IDHS as an assistant to her nephew, police said. She also had a full-time job at a hospital. Between Jan. 7, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2013, she billed IDHS for personal assistant work she claimed to have provided while actually working at her other job.

An investigation by the Illinois State Police Medicare Fraud Control Bureau also revealed her nephew was incarcerated at the Winnebago County Jail on some of the dates that Wright-Stephenson billed IDHS for assistant work, police said. Her false billing practices cost the state a total of $4,468.75.

Following her guilty plea in Winnebago County, Wright-Stephenson was sentenced to two years probation and 30 hours of community service, according to police. She was also ordered to pay $4,468.75 in restitution.

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