A former Illinois Department of Human Services caseworker pleaded guilty Monday and was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing thousands of dollars in state assistance for needy families.
Amy Mueller, 40, of Highland, pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft in Madison County Criminal Court before Judge Kyle Napp. Mueller was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution.
Mueller was a former IDHS caseworker at the department’s Madison County Family Community Resource Center. She created fake benefit accounts using legitimate clients’ personal information, then made cash withdrawals she spent for her personal use, including on vacations, restaurant visits, massages, tanning sessions and nail salons.
“Instead of assisting families in need, this defendant stole tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a press release.
Madigan’s Public Integrity Bureau, with assistance from IDHS and the Illinois State Police, investigated the case. Mueller worked for IDHS from 1998 to 2015, and the thefts occurred from 2012 through 2015.
Bureau Chief David Navarro, Assistant Attorney General Jonas Harger and Director James S. Dorger handled the case for Madigan’s Public Integrity Bureau.