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Illinois quick hits: Woman sentenced for child care fraud; tax deadline approaches


Woman sentenced for child care fraud

The owner of several northern Illinois child care centers has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for scheming to fraudulently obtain more than $3.3 million in state of Illinois subsidies meant to assist low-income families with child care.

Aleesha McDowell owned child care centers in Chicago and Calumet City. Prosecutors said McDowell schemed with the directors of her centers to defraud the Illinois Department of Human Services Child Care Assistance Program by submitting applications containing false information.

Tax deadline approaches

The Illinois Department of Revenue is reminding taxpayers that the upcoming deadline is quickly approaching for filing 2023 state individual income tax returns. The agency has been collecting and processing returns since the 2024 tax season officially began on Jan. 29, and the deadline is Monday, April 15.

If a taxpayer electronically files an error-free return, they should receive a direct deposit refund in approximately four weeks. In 2023, the agency received a total of nearly 6.2 million IL-1040 returns. Of those returns received, close to 5.6 million were filed electronically, or just over 90%.

Botulism warning issued

The Illinois Department of Public Health has alerted healthcare facilities and hospital emergency departments to be on a heightened lookout for patients with symptoms similar to botulism following two cases reported in Illinois of people who received injections in LaSalle County of Botox or a similar possibly counterfeit product.

IDPH is working with the LaSalle County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation on the investigation of the cluster.