CHICAGO — Twelve Chicago Public Schools employees have resigned or been fired for defrauding a federal pandemic relief program. Two more are in the process of being fired.
According to the CPS Office of the Inspector General, the investigation is ongoing.
The OIG reports the employees, most of which had six-figure salaries with the district, used false loan applications to get up to $21,000 in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Those loans are primarily meant to help business owners pay their employees during the height of the pandemic.
The OIG reports of the 14 employees, many admitted to making false statements on the loan applications.
At least one of the CPS employees involved worked in the central office and got a $75,000 loan. At the time, the employee made more than $200,000 a year.
The report also says that many of the 14 employees include school administrators and managers.
The OIG says close to 800 full-time CPS employees received PPP loans. Some of course are legitimate, and others were victims of identity theft.
In recent months, the OIG has found dozens of Cook County and city employees have either resigned or been fired due to PPP fraud investigations.
There has been a nationwide crackdown on PPP and other fraud in Covid-related programs.
The government accountability office recommended more than half a million PPP loans be investigated for potential fraud.