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Reported by Andrew Scot Bolsinger
A scheme to steal money from Chicago’s transportation authority resulted in a husband and wife being charged with numerous felony counts of fraud and identity theft, among other charges, a Chicago television station reports.
The couple worked for Chicago Transit Authority while they stole from the agency’s deferred compensation program by submitting fake deαth certificates for their children and stealing coworkers’ identities, according to published reports.
“Donella Anderson Watkins, 41, of Lansing, and her husband, 55-year-old Sammie Watkins, face several charges including wire fraud, identity theft and continuing a financial crimes enterprise,” the local CBS affiliate website states.
The couple submitted fake deαth certificates in order to create an “emergency need” for funeral expenses and not incur a tax penalty for withdrawing from their deferred compensation program, according to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
The couple is also accused of submitting false withdrawal forms for coworkers without their knowledge.
Officials allege Donella Watkins was able to obtain $18,000 in the name of a co-worker but was caught after trying to make an emergency withdrawal in the name of another employee.
The CTA operates the nation’s second largest public transportation system and covers the city of Chicago and 35 surrounding suburbs. On an average weekday, approximately 1.7 million rides are taken on the CTA, according to its website.