Illinois state worker fabricated triplets to receive $22k in food stamps

Caroline May | Reporter

A former Illinois Department of Human Services caseworker was sentenced on Monday for defrauding the government out of nearly $22,000 in food stamps.

Ebony Martin was found to have abused her position by creating a fake file and fabricating triplets (complete with Social Security numbers) for her boyfriend, Keith Jones, so that they could receive additional food aid benefits, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday evening.

According to authorities, Martin and Jones were able to collect $21,866 in food benefits, selling some of the food stamps at half-price to friends and family.

“She was making a profit on top of defrauding the government,” the Daily Herald reported prosecutor Diane Michalak said in court.

Martin was sentenced to a month in jail, three years of probation and repayment of the stolen money.

“It’s more than just a bad decision,” DuPage County Judge Robert Kleeman said. “The public placed its trust in this defendant. She abused it. There’s no other way to put it. She knowingly and intentionally gave away public funds.”

Martin plead guilty to the charges earlier in the year. Jones has been charged with felony theft and state benefit fraud but remains on the run.

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