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ILLINOIS STATUTES AND CODES

Article VIIIa - Public Assistance Fraud

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(305 ILCS 5/Art. VIIIA heading) ARTICLE VIIIA.PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FRAUD(305 ILCS 5/8A‑1) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑1) Sec. 8A‑1.Legislative Intent.Because of the pervasive nature of public assistance fraud and its negative effect on the people of the State of Illinois and those individuals who need public assistance, the General Assembly declares it to be public policy that public assistance fraud be identified and dealt with swiftly and appropriately considering the onerous nature of the crime. (Source: P.A. 82‑440.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑2) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑2) Sec. 8A‑2.Recipient Fraud.(a) Any person, who by means of any false statement, willful misrepresentation or failure to notify the county department or the local governmental unit, as the case may be, of a change in his status as required by Sections 11‑18 and 11‑19, or any person who knowingly causes any applicant or recipient without knowledge to make such a false statement or willful misrepresentation, or by withholding information causes the applicant or recipient to fail to notify the county department or local governmental unit as required, for the purpose of preventing the denial, cancellation or suspension of any grant, or a variation in the amount thereof, or through other fraudulent device obtains or attempts to obtain, or aids or abets any person in obtaining public aid under this Code to which he is not entitled is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6. (b) If an applicant makes and subscribes an application form under Section 11‑15 which contains a written declaration that it is made under penalties of perjury, knowing it to be false, incorrect or incomplete in respect to any material statement or representation bearing on his eligibility, income or resources, the offender shall be subject to the penalties for perjury as provided in Section 32‑2 of the "Criminal Code of 1961". (Source: P.A. 82‑440.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑2.5)Sec. 8A‑2.5.Unauthorized use of medical assistance. (a) Any person who knowingly uses, acquires, possesses, or transfers a medical card in any manner not authorized by law or by rules and regulations of the Illinois Department, or who knowingly alters a medical card, or who knowingly uses, acquires, possesses, or transfers an altered medical card, is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6. (b) Any person who knowingly obtains unauthorized medical benefits with or without use of a medical card is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6. (Source: P.A. 89‑289, eff. 1‑1‑96.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑3) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑3) Sec. 8A‑3.Vendor Fraud and Kickbacks.(a) Any person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity that willfully, by means of a false statement or representation, or by concealment of any material fact or by other fraudulent scheme or device on behalf of himself or others, obtains or attempts to obtain benefits or payments under this Code to which he or it is not entitled, or in a greater amount than that to which he or it is entitled, is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6. (b) A person shall be guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6 if he solicits or receives any remuneration, including any kickback, bribe, or rebate, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind: (1) in return for referring an individual to a person for the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of any item or service for which payment may be made in whole or in part under this Code; or (2) in return for purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging for or recommending purchasing, leasing, or ordering any good, facility, service or item for which payment may be made in whole or in part under this Code. (c) A person shall be guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6 if he offers or pays any remuneration, including any kickback, bribe, or rebate, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind to any person to induce such person: (1) to refer an individual to a person for the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of any item or service for which payment may be made in whole or in part under this Code; or (2) to purchase, lease, order, or arrange for or recommend purchasing, leasing, or ordering any good, facility, service, or item for which payment may be made in whole or in part under this Code. (d) Subsections (b) and (c) shall not apply to: (1) a discount or other reduction in price obtained by a provider of services or other entity under this Code if the reduction in price is properly disclosed and appropriately reflected in the costs claimed or charges made by the provider or entity under this Code; (2) any amount paid by an employer to an employee who has a bona fide employment relationship with such employer for employment in the provision of covered items or services; or (3) any amount paid to or received by a physician for professional services rendered if a physician, pursuant to a bona fide contract with a health maintenance organization, as defined by the Health Maintenance Organization Act, has referred a patient to another physician for rendering professional services not covered by the health maintenance organization. (Source: P.A. 85‑818.) (305 ILCS 5/8A‑3.5) Sec. 8A‑3.5. Vendor fraud and recipient fraud in medical assistance; restitution. A person convicted of recipient fraud, unauthorized use of medical assistance, vendor fraud in relation to the provision of medical assistance under Article V of this Code, or convicted of a federal criminal violation associated with defrauding the Medicaid program shall be ordered to pay monetary restitution to a person for any financial loss sustained by that person as a result of a violation of Section 8A‑2, 8A‑2.5, or 8A‑3 of this Code, including any court costs and attorney fees. An order of restitution also includes expenses incurred and paid in connection with any medical evaluation or treatment. (Source: P.A. 94‑577, eff. 1‑1‑06.) (305 ILCS 5/8A‑3.6) Sec. 8A‑3.6. Actions by State licensing agencies. (a) All State licensing agencies, the Illinois State Police, and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shall coordinate enforcement efforts relating to acts of recipient fraud, unauthorized use of medical assistance, or vendor fraud in relation to the provision of medical assistance under Article V of this Code.(b) If a person who is licensed or registered under the laws of the State of Illinois to engage in a business or profession is convicted of or pleads guilty to engaging in an act of recipient fraud, unauthorized use of medical assistance, or vendor fraud in relation to the provision of medical assistance under Article V of this Code, the Illinois State Police must forward to each State agency by which the person is licensed or registered a copy of the conviction or plea and all supporting evidence.(c) Any agency that receives information under this Section shall, not later than 6 months after the date on which it receives the information, publicly report the final action taken against the convicted person, including but not limited to the revocation or suspension of the license or any other disciplinary action taken. (Source: P.A. 94‑577, eff. 1‑1‑06.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑4) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑4) Sec. 8A‑4. Penalty for Unauthorized Use of Federal Food Stamps or Federal Food Stamp Benefits. Any person who knowingly uses, acquires, possesses, or transfers federal food stamps, or federal food stamp benefits, or Electronic Benefit Transfer card for federal food stamp benefits, or authorizations to participate in the federal food stamp program in any manner not authorized by law or the rules and regulations of the Illinois Department, or who knowingly alters or uses, acquires, possesses or transfers altered federal food stamps, or federal food stamp benefits, or Electronic Benefit Transfer card for federal food stamp benefits, or authorizations to participate in the federal food stamp program, or who knowingly alters or falsifies electronic federal food stamp benefit data or possesses or uses altered or falsified electronic federal food stamp benefit data for the purpose of making claims for or receiving redemption of food stamp benefits or for the substantiation of redemptions received, is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6. (Source: P.A. 89‑489, eff. 1‑1‑97.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑4A) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑4A) Sec. 8A‑4A. Penalty for Unauthorized Use of Federal Surplus Commodities. Any person who knowingly uses, acquires, possesses, or transfers federal surplus food commodities or authorizations to participate in the federal surplus food commodities program, in original or altered form, in any manner not authorized by law or the rules and regulations of the Illinois Department, or who knowingly alters authorizations to participate in the federal surplus food commodities program, is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6. (Source: P.A. 85‑555.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑5) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑5) Sec. 8A‑5.Administrative Malfeasance.(a) Any person who shall misappropriate, misuse or unlawfully withhold or convert to his own use or to the use of another, any public funds made available for public aid purposes under this Code is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6. (b) Any official or employee of the Illinois Department, county department or local governmental unit who willfully fails to report a known violation of Sections 8A‑2, 8A‑3, 8A‑4 or 8A‑5 to the designated administrative personnel as identified in the policy and procedures of the Illinois Department for employees of the Illinois Department or county department, or to the State's Attorney for employees of a local governmental unit, shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings pursuant to regulations of the Illinois Department or local governmental unit. (Source: P.A. 82‑440.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑5A) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑5A) Sec. 8A‑5A.Unauthorized possession of identification document.Any person who possesses for an unlawful purpose another person's identification document issued by the Illinois Department shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony. For purposes of this Section, "identification document" includes but is not limited to an authorization to participate in the federal food stamp program or the federal surplus food commodities program, or a card or other document which identifies a person as being entitled to public aid under this Code. (Source: P.A. 86‑1012.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑6) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑6) Sec. 8A‑6.Classification of violations. (a) Any person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity that has been found by a court to have engaged in an act, practice or course of conduct declared unlawful under Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 or Section 8A‑13 or 8A‑14 where:(1) the total amount of money involved in the violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is less than $150, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor;(2) the total amount of money involved in the violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $150 or more but less than $1,000, shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony;(3) the total amount of money involved in the violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $1,000 or more but less than $5,000, shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony;(4) the total amount of money involved in the violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $5,000 or more but less than $10,000, shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony; or(5) the total amount of money involved in the violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $10,000 or more, shall be guilty of a Class 1 felony and, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 8A‑8 except for Subsection (c) of Section 8A‑8, shall be ineligible for financial aid under this Article for a period of two years following conviction or until the total amount of money, including the value of federal food stamps, is repaid, whichever first occurs. (b) Any person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity that commits a subsequent violation of any of the provisions of Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 and:(1) the total amount of money involved in the subsequent violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is less than $150, shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony;(2) the total amount of money involved in the subsequent violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $150 or more but less than $1,000, shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony;(3) the total amount of money involved in the subsequent violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $1,000 or more but less than $5,000, shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony;(4) the total amount of money involved in the subsequent violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $5,000 or more but less than $10,000, shall be guilty of a Class 1 felony. (c) For purposes of determining the classification of offense under this Section, all of the money received as a result of the unlawful act, practice or course of conduct can be accumulated. (Source: P.A. 90‑538, eff. 12‑1‑97.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑7) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑7) Sec. 8A‑7.Civil Remedies.(a) A person who receives financial aid by means of a false statement, willful misrepresentation or by his failure to notify the county department or local governmental unit, as the case may be, of a change in his status as required by Sections 11‑18 and 11‑19, for the purpose of preventing the denial, cancellation or suspension of his grant, or a variation in the amount thereof, or by other fraudulent device, or a person who knowingly aids or abets any person in obtaining financial aid for which he is not eligible, shall be answerable to the county department or the local governmental unit, as the case may be, for refunding the entire amount of aid received. If the refund is not made, it shall be recoverable in a civil action from the person who received the aid, or from anyone who willfully aided such person to obtain the aid. If an act which would be unlawful under Section 8A‑2 is proven, the court may as a penalty assess an additional sum of money, not to exceed the entire amount of aid provided, against the recipient or against any person who willfully aided the recipient. If assessed, the penalty shall be included in any judgment entered for the aid received, and paid to the county department or the local governmental unit, as the case may be. Upon entry of the judgment a lien shall attach to all property and assets of such person until the judgment is satisfied. (b) Any person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity, other than an individual recipient, that willfully, by means of a false statement or representation, or by concealment of any material fact or by other fraudulent scheme or device on behalf of himself or others, obtains or attempts to obtain benefits or payments under this Code to which he or it is not entitled, or in a greater amount than that to which he or it is entitled, shall be liable for repayment of any excess benefits or payments received and, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, civil penalties consisting of (1) the interest on the amount of excess benefits or payments at the maximum legal rate in effect on the date the payment was made to such person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity for the period from the date upon which payment was made to the date upon which repayment is made to the State, (2) an amount not to exceed 3 times the amount of such excess benefits or payments, and (3) the sum of $2,000 for each excessive claim for benefits or payments. Upon entry of a judgment for repayment of any excess benefits or payments, or for any civil penalties assessed by the court, a lien shall attach to all property and assets of such person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity until the judgment is satisfied. (c) Civil recoveries provided for in this Section may be recoverable in court proceedings initiated by the Attorney General or, in actions involving a local governmental unit, by the State's Attorney. (d) Any person who commits the offense of vendor fraud or recipient fraud as defined in Section 8A‑2 and Section 8A‑3 of this Article shall forfeit, according to the provisions of this subsection, any monies, profits or proceeds, and any interest or property which the sentencing court determines he has acquired or maintained, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part as a result of such offense. Such person shall also forfeit any interest in, securities of, claim against, or contractual right of any kind which affords him a source of influence over, any enterprise which he has established, operated, controlled, conducted, or participated in conducting, where his relationship to or connection with any such thing or activity directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, is traceable to any thing or benefit which he has obtained or acquired through vendor fraud or recipient fraud. Proceedings instituted pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to and conducted in accordance with the following procedures: (1) The sentencing court shall, upon petition by the Attorney General or State's Attorney at any time following sentencing, conduct a hearing to determine whether any property or property interest is subject to forfeiture under this subsection. At the forfeiture hearing the People shall have the burden of establishing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the property or property interests are subject to such forfeiture. (2) In any action brought by the People of the State of Illinois under this Section, in which any restraining order, injunction or prohibition or any other action in connection with any property or interest subject to forfeiture under this subsection is sought, the circuit court presiding over the trial of the person charged with recipient fraud or vendor fraud as defined in Sections 8A‑2 or 8A‑3 of this Article shall first determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the person so charged has committed the offense of recipient fraud or vendor fraud and whether the property or interest is subject to forfeiture under this subsection. To make such a determination, prior to entering any such order, the court shall conduct a hearing without a jury, at which the People shall establish that there is (i) probable cause that the person so charged has committed the offense of recipient fraud or vendor fraud and (ii) probable cause that any property or interest may be subject to forfeiture pursuant to this subsection. Such hearing may be conducted simultaneously with a preliminary hearing, if the prosecution is commenced by information or complaint, or by motion of the People at any stage in the proceedings. The court may accept a finding of probable cause at a preliminary hearing following the filing of an information charging the offense of recipient fraud or vendor fraud as defined in Sections 8A‑2 or 8A‑3 or the return of an indictment by a grand jury charging the offense of recipient fraud or vendor fraud as defined in Sections 8A‑2 or 8A‑3 of this Article as sufficient evidence of probable cause as provided in item (i) above. Upon such a finding, the circuit court shall enter such restraining order, injunction or prohibition, or shall take such other action in connection with any such property or other interest subject to forfeiture under this Act as is necessary to insure that such property is not removed from the jurisdiction of the court, concealed, destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the owner of that property or interest prior to a forfeiture hearing under this subsection. The Attorney General or State's Attorney shall file a certified copy of such restraining order, injunction or other prohibition with the recorder of deeds or registrar of titles of each county where any such property of the defendant may be located. No such injunction, restraining order or other prohibition shall affect the rights of any bonafide purchaser, mortgagee, judgement creditor or other lien holder arising prior to the date of such filing. The court may, at any time, upon verified petition by the defendant, conduct a hearing to determine whether all or portions of any such property or interest which the court previously determined to be subject to forfeiture or subject to any restraining order, injunction, or prohibition or other action, should be released. The court may in its discretion release such property to the defendant for good cause shown. (3) Upon conviction of a person under this Article, the court shall authorize the Director of the Illinois Department of State Police to seize all property or other interest declared forfeited under this subsection upon such terms and conditions as the court shall deem proper. (4) The Director of the Illinois Department of State Police is authorized to sell all property forfeited and seized pursuant to this subsection, unless such property is required by law to be destroyed or is harmful to the public. After the deduction of all requisite expenses of administration and sale, the court shall order the Director to distribute to the Illinois Department an amount from the proceeds of the forfeited property, or monies forfeited or seized, which will satisfy any unsatisfied court order of restitution entered pursuant to a conviction under this Article. If the proceeds are less than the amount necessary to satisfy the order of restitution, the Director shall distribute to the Illinois Department the entire amount of the remaining proceeds. The Director shall distribute any remaining proceeds of such sale, along with any monies forfeited or seized, in accordance with the following schedules: (a) 25% shall be distributed to the unit of local government whose officers or employees conducted the investigation into recipient fraud or vendor fraud and caused the arrest or arrests and prosecution leading to the forfeiture. Amounts distributed to units of local government shall be used solely for enforcement matters relating to detection, investigation or prosecution of recipient fraud or vendor fraud as defined in Section 8A‑2 or 8A‑3 of this Article. Where the investigation, arrest or arrests leading to the prosecution and forfeiture is undertaken solely by the Illinois Department of State Police, the portion provided hereunder shall be paid into the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Prevention Fund, which is hereby created in the State treasury. Monies from this fund shall be used by the Department of State Police for the furtherance of enforcement matters relating to detection, investigation or prosecution of recipient fraud or vendor fraud. Monies directed to this fund shall be used in addition to, and not as a substitute for, funds annually appropriated to the Department of State Police for medicaid fraud enforcement. (b) 25% shall be distributed to the county in which the prosecution and petition for forfeiture resulting in the forfeiture was instituted, and deposited in a special fund in the county treasury and appropriated to the State's Attorney for use solely in enforcement matters relating to detection, investigation or prosecution of recipient fraud or vendor fraud; however, if the Attorney General brought the prosecution resulting in the forfeiture, the portion provided hereunder shall be paid into the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Prevention Fund, to be used by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Illinois Department of State Police for enforcement matters relating to detection, investigation or prosecution of recipient fraud or vendor fraud. Where the Attorney General and a State's Attorney have jointly participated in any portion of the proceedings, 12.5% shall be distributed to the county in which the prosecution resulting in the forfeiture was instituted, and used as specified herein, and 12.5% shall be paid into the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Prevention Fund, and used as specified herein. (c) 50% shall be transmitted to the State Treasurer for deposit in the General Revenue Fund. (Source: P.A. 85‑707.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑7.1) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑7.1)Sec. 8A‑7.1. The Director, upon making a determination based upon information in the possession of the Illinois Department, that continuation in practice of a licensed health care professional would constitute an immediate danger to the public, shall submit a written communication to the Director of Professional Regulation indicating such determination and additionally providing a complete summary of the information upon which such determination is based, and recommending that the Director of Professional Regulation immediately suspend such person's license. All relevant evidence, or copies thereof, in the Illinois Department's possession may also be submitted in conjunction with the written communication. A copy of such written communication, which is exempt from the copying and inspection provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, shall at the time of submittal to the Director of Professional Regulation be simultaneously mailed to the last known business address of such licensed health care professional by certified or registered postage, United States Mail, return receipt requested. Any evidence, or copies thereof, which is submitted in conjunction with the written communication is also exempt from the copying and inspection provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. The Director, upon making a determination based upon information in the possession of the Illinois Department, that a licensed health care professional is willfully committing fraud upon the Illinois Department's medical assistance program, shall submit a written communication to the Director of Professional Regulation indicating such determination and additionally providing a complete summary of the information upon which such determination is based. All relevant evidence, or copies thereof, in the Illinois Department's possession may also be submitted in conjunction with the written communication. Upon receipt of such written communication, the Director of Professional Regulation shall promptly investigate the allegations contained in such written communication. A copy of such written communication, which is exempt from the copying and inspection provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, shall at the time of submission to the Director of Professional Regulation, be simultaneously mailed to the last known address of such licensed health care professional by certified or registered postage, United States Mail, return receipt requested. Any evidence, or copies thereof, which is submitted in conjunction with the written communication is also exempt from the copying and inspection provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. For the purposes of this Section, "licensed health care professional" means any person licensed under the Illinois Dental Practice Act, the Nurse Practice Act, the Medical Practice Act of 1987, the Pharmacy Practice Act, the Podiatric Medical Practice Act of 1987, or the Illinois Optometric Practice Act of 1987. (Source: P.A. 95‑639, eff. 10‑5‑07; 95‑689, eff. 10‑29‑07; 95‑876, eff. 8‑21‑08.) (305 ILCS 5/8A‑8) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑8) Sec. 8A‑8.Future Participation in the Public Assistance Program. (a) Any person applying for public assistance under this Code who has been found guilty of a violation of this Article or of any law of the United States or of any state which is substantially similar to Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 for violations related to public assistance or medical assistance programs of the kind provided under this Code and who has not been previously convicted for a violation of this Article or of any law of the United States or of any state which is substantially similar to Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 for violations related to public assistance or medical assistance programs of the kind provided under this Code shall have applications for public assistance under this Code reviewed by an administrative review board to determine the person's eligibility and the need for administrative safeguards to prevent any such further violations. The administrative review board shall be composed of not less than two persons who are selected in accordance with regulations of the Illinois Department or the local governmental unit. Hearings conducted by the board shall:(1) be of an informal nature, permitting the applicant to attend at his option;(2) be open to the public, unless the applicant and the administrative review board determine otherwise;(3) be subject to reasonable time and notification requirements as determined by regulations of the Illinois Department or local governmental units; and(4) be held at a location convenient to the applicant. At the hearing, the administrative review board may deny the application based on an investigation of the person's eligibility, or the board may appoint a substitute payee, require more frequent visits or consultations, more frequent financial reports or require any other action to the extent permitted by State and federal law and regulations. A decision by the administrative review board to deny a person's application shall only be based on the person's failure to qualify under the eligibility criteria applicable to all applicants for the public assistance program in question. Any decision by the administrative review board may be appealed pursuant to the provisions of this Code. In no instance shall the administrative review board delay the hearing or its decision beyond the time allowed under State or federal law and regulations for determining an applicant's eligibility for public assistance. If the person has been determined eligible, the Illinois Department or the local governmental unit may recoup prior payments obtained in violation of this Article from the current cash assistance grants, unless such payments have previously been repaid. The Illinois Department or the local governmental unit, on a case by case basis, shall limit the amount deducted from the current cash assistance grant so as not to cause undue hardship to the person. (b) To the extent permitted under federal law, any person found guilty of a first violation of this Article or of any law of the United States or of any state which is substantially similar to Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 for violations related to public assistance or medical assistance programs of the kind provided under this Code may be suspended from eligibility for public aid under this Code. Any person found guilty of a second or subsequent violation of this Article or of any law of the United States or of any state which is substantially similar to Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 for violations related to public assistance or medical assistance programs of the kind provided under this Code shall be ineligible for public aid under this Code. (c) In no instance shall this Section adversely affect the eligibility of children who are in need of public aid under this Code, or the amount of the grant received by such children. If a child's caretaker relative is adversely affected by this Section, a substitute payee may be appointed until the Illinois Department can determine, by rule, that the caretaker relative can manage the public aid in the best interest of the child. (d) Any person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity that has been convicted of a violation of this Article shall be prohibited from participating as a vendor of goods or services to recipients of public aid under this Code. Such prohibition shall extend to any person with management responsibility in a firm, corporation, association, agency, institution, or other legal entity that has been convicted of any such violation and to an officer or person owning, either directly or indirectly, 5% or more of the shares of stock or other evidences of ownership in a corporation. (e) Any employee of the Illinois Department, county department or local governmental unit who has been found guilty of a violation of this Article shall be terminated from employment. (Source: P.A. 89‑489, eff. 1‑1‑97; 90‑725, eff. 8‑7‑98.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑9) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑9) Sec. 8A‑9.Special Investigations Unit.There shall be established within the administrative staff a unit to investigate all matters pertaining to the fraudulent acquisition of public aid, including administrative funds. The investigation may be conducted without prior notice to the recipients, to the personnel administering the cases or to vendors or other persons involved. The unit shall also investigate any other matter relating to the administration of public aid assigned to it by the Director of the Illinois Department. The Illinois Department may make the facts revealed by any investigation available to the Attorney General or to the appropriate State's Attorney. (Source: P.A. 82‑440.)(305 ILCS 5/8A‑10) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑10) Sec. 8A‑10.Savings provisions.Notwithstanding any amendments or repealer provisions in this amendatory Act of 1981, Sections 11‑21, 11‑24, 12‑15, 12‑15.1 and 12‑21.19 of "The Illinois Public Aid Code" shall remain in force (1) for the prosecution a
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  •       (305 ILCS 5/Art. VIIIA heading)
    ARTICLE VIIIA. PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FRAUD

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑1) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑1)
        Sec. 8A‑1. Legislative Intent. Because of the pervasive nature of public assistance fraud and its negative effect on the people of the State of Illinois and those individuals who need public assistance, the General Assembly declares it to be public policy that public assistance fraud be identified and dealt with swiftly and appropriately considering the onerous nature of the crime.
    (Source: P.A. 82‑440.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑2) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑2)
        Sec. 8A‑2. Recipient Fraud. (a) Any person, who by means of any false statement, willful misrepresentation or failure to notify the county department or the local governmental unit, as the case may be, of a change in his status as required by Sections 11‑18 and 11‑19, or any person who knowingly causes any applicant or recipient without knowledge to make such a false statement or willful misrepresentation, or by withholding information causes the applicant or recipient to fail to notify the county department or local governmental unit as required, for the purpose of preventing the denial, cancellation or suspension of any grant, or a variation in the amount thereof, or through other fraudulent device obtains or attempts to obtain, or aids or abets any person in obtaining public aid under this Code to which he is not entitled is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6.
        (b) If an applicant makes and subscribes an application form under Section 11‑15 which contains a written declaration that it is made under penalties of perjury, knowing it to be false, incorrect or incomplete in respect to any material statement or representation bearing on his eligibility, income or resources, the offender shall be subject to the penalties for perjury as provided in Section 32‑2 of the "Criminal Code of 1961".
    (Source: P.A. 82‑440.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑2.5)
        Sec. 8A‑2.5. Unauthorized use of medical assistance.
        (a) Any person who knowingly uses, acquires, possesses, or transfers a medical card in any manner not authorized by law or by rules and regulations of the Illinois Department, or who knowingly alters a medical card, or who knowingly uses, acquires, possesses, or transfers an altered medical card, is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6.
        (b) Any person who knowingly obtains unauthorized medical benefits with or without use of a medical card is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6.
    (Source: P.A. 89‑289, eff. 1‑1‑96.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑3) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑3)
        Sec. 8A‑3. Vendor Fraud and Kickbacks. (a) Any person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity that willfully, by means of a false statement or representation, or by concealment of any material fact or by other fraudulent scheme or device on behalf of himself or others, obtains or attempts to obtain benefits or payments under this Code to which he or it is not entitled, or in a greater amount than that to which he or it is entitled, is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6.
        (b) A person shall be guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6 if he solicits or receives any remuneration, including any kickback, bribe, or rebate, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind:
        (1) in return for referring an individual to a person for the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of any item or service for which payment may be made in whole or in part under this Code; or
        (2) in return for purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging for or recommending purchasing, leasing, or ordering any good, facility, service or item for which payment may be made in whole or in part under this Code.
        (c) A person shall be guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6 if he offers or pays any remuneration, including any kickback, bribe, or rebate, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind to any person to induce such person:
        (1) to refer an individual to a person for the furnishing or arranging for the furnishing of any item or service for which payment may be made in whole or in part under this Code; or
        (2) to purchase, lease, order, or arrange for or recommend purchasing, leasing, or ordering any good, facility, service, or item for which payment may be made in whole or in part under this Code.
        (d) Subsections (b) and (c) shall not apply to:
        (1) a discount or other reduction in price obtained by a provider of services or other entity under this Code if the reduction in price is properly disclosed and appropriately reflected in the costs claimed or charges made by the provider or entity under this Code;
        (2) any amount paid by an employer to an employee who has a bona fide employment relationship with such employer for employment in the provision of covered items or services; or
        (3) any amount paid to or received by a physician for professional services rendered if a physician, pursuant to a bona fide contract with a health maintenance organization, as defined by the Health Maintenance Organization Act, has referred a patient to another physician for rendering professional services not covered by the health maintenance organization.
    (Source: P.A. 85‑818.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑3.5)
        Sec. 8A‑3.5. Vendor fraud and recipient fraud in medical assistance; restitution. A person convicted of recipient fraud, unauthorized use of medical assistance, vendor fraud in relation to the provision of medical assistance under Article V of this Code, or convicted of a federal criminal violation associated with defrauding the Medicaid program shall be ordered to pay monetary restitution to a person for any financial loss sustained by that person as a result of a violation of Section 8A‑2, 8A‑2.5, or 8A‑3 of this Code, including any court costs and attorney fees. An order of restitution also includes expenses incurred and paid in connection with any medical evaluation or treatment.
    (Source: P.A. 94‑577, eff. 1‑1‑06.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑3.6)
        Sec. 8A‑3.6. Actions by State licensing agencies.
        (a) All State licensing agencies, the Illinois State Police, and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shall coordinate enforcement efforts relating to acts of recipient fraud, unauthorized use of medical assistance, or vendor fraud in relation to the provision of medical assistance under Article V of this Code.
        (b) If a person who is licensed or registered under the laws of the State of Illinois to engage in a business or profession is convicted of or pleads guilty to engaging in an act of recipient fraud, unauthorized use of medical assistance, or vendor fraud in relation to the provision of medical assistance under Article V of this Code, the Illinois State Police must forward to each State agency by which the person is licensed or registered a copy of the conviction or plea and all supporting evidence.
        (c) Any agency that receives information under this Section shall, not later than 6 months after the date on which it receives the information, publicly report the final action taken against the convicted person, including but not limited to the revocation or suspension of the license or any other disciplinary action taken.
    (Source: P.A. 94‑577, eff. 1‑1‑06.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑4) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑4)
        Sec. 8A‑4. Penalty for Unauthorized Use of Federal Food Stamps or Federal Food Stamp Benefits. Any person who knowingly uses, acquires, possesses, or transfers federal food stamps, or federal food stamp benefits, or Electronic Benefit Transfer card for federal food stamp benefits, or authorizations to participate in the federal food stamp program in any manner not authorized by law or the rules and regulations of the Illinois Department, or who knowingly alters or uses, acquires, possesses or transfers altered federal food stamps, or federal food stamp benefits, or Electronic Benefit Transfer card for federal food stamp benefits, or authorizations to participate in the federal food stamp program, or who knowingly alters or falsifies electronic federal food stamp benefit data or possesses or uses altered or falsified electronic federal food stamp benefit data for the purpose of making claims for or receiving redemption of food stamp benefits or for the substantiation of redemptions received, is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6.
    (Source: P.A. 89‑489, eff. 1‑1‑97.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑4A) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑4A)
        Sec. 8A‑4A. Penalty for Unauthorized Use of Federal Surplus Commodities. Any person who knowingly uses, acquires, possesses, or transfers federal surplus food commodities or authorizations to participate in the federal surplus food commodities program, in original or altered form, in any manner not authorized by law or the rules and regulations of the Illinois Department, or who knowingly alters authorizations to participate in the federal surplus food commodities program, is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6.
    (Source: P.A. 85‑555.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑5) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑5)
        Sec. 8A‑5. Administrative Malfeasance. (a) Any person who shall misappropriate, misuse or unlawfully withhold or convert to his own use or to the use of another, any public funds made available for public aid purposes under this Code is guilty of a violation of this Article and shall be punished as provided in Section 8A‑6.
        (b) Any official or employee of the Illinois Department, county department or local governmental unit who willfully fails to report a known violation of Sections 8A‑2, 8A‑3, 8A‑4 or 8A‑5 to the designated administrative personnel as identified in the policy and procedures of the Illinois Department for employees of the Illinois Department or county department, or to the State's Attorney for employees of a local governmental unit, shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings pursuant to regulations of the Illinois Department or local governmental unit.
    (Source: P.A. 82‑440.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑5A) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑5A)
        Sec. 8A‑5A. Unauthorized possession of identification document. Any person who possesses for an unlawful purpose another person's identification document issued by the Illinois Department shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony. For purposes of this Section, "identification document" includes but is not limited to an authorization to participate in the federal food stamp program or the federal surplus food commodities program, or a card or other document which identifies a person as being entitled to public aid under this Code.
    (Source: P.A. 86‑1012.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑6) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑6)
        Sec. 8A‑6. Classification of violations.
        (a) Any person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity that has been found by a court to have engaged in an act, practice or course of conduct declared unlawful under Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 or Section 8A‑13 or 8A‑14 where:
            (1) the total amount of money involved in the
         violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is less than $150, shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor;
            (2) the total amount of money involved in the
         violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $150 or more but less than $1,000, shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony;
            (3) the total amount of money involved in the
         violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $1,000 or more but less than $5,000, shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony;
            (4) the total amount of money involved in the
         violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $5,000 or more but less than $10,000, shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony; or
            (5) the total amount of money involved in the
         violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $10,000 or more, shall be guilty of a Class 1 felony and, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 8A‑8 except for Subsection (c) of Section 8A‑8, shall be ineligible for financial aid under this Article for a period of two years following conviction or until the total amount of money, including the value of federal food stamps, is repaid, whichever first occurs.
        (b) Any person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity that commits a subsequent violation of any of the provisions of Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 and:
            (1) the total amount of money involved in the
         subsequent violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is less than $150, shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony;
            (2) the total amount of money involved in the
         subsequent violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $150 or more but less than $1,000, shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony;
            (3) the total amount of money involved in the
         subsequent violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $1,000 or more but less than $5,000, shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony;
            (4) the total amount of money involved in the
         subsequent violation, including the monetary value of federal food stamps and the value of commodities, is $5,000 or more but less than $10,000, shall be guilty of a Class 1 felony.
        (c) For purposes of determining the classification of offense under this Section, all of the money received as a result of the unlawful act, practice or course of conduct can be accumulated.
    (Source: P.A. 90‑538, eff. 12‑1‑97.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑7) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑7)
        Sec. 8A‑7. Civil Remedies. (a) A person who receives financial aid by means of a false statement, willful misrepresentation or by his failure to notify the county department or local governmental unit, as the case may be, of a change in his status as required by Sections 11‑18 and 11‑19, for the purpose of preventing the denial, cancellation or suspension of his grant, or a variation in the amount thereof, or by other fraudulent device, or a person who knowingly aids or abets any person in obtaining financial aid for which he is not eligible, shall be answerable to the county department or the local governmental unit, as the case may be, for refunding the entire amount of aid received. If the refund is not made, it shall be recoverable in a civil action from the person who received the aid, or from anyone who willfully aided such person to obtain the aid. If an act which would be unlawful under Section 8A‑2 is proven, the court may as a penalty assess an additional sum of money, not to exceed the entire amount of aid provided, against the recipient or against any person who willfully aided the recipient. If assessed, the penalty shall be included in any judgment entered for the aid received, and paid to the county department or the local governmental unit, as the case may be. Upon entry of the judgment a lien shall attach to all property and assets of such person until the judgment is satisfied.
        (b) Any person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity, other than an individual recipient, that willfully, by means of a false statement or representation, or by concealment of any material fact or by other fraudulent scheme or device on behalf of himself or others, obtains or attempts to obtain benefits or payments under this Code to which he or it is not entitled, or in a greater amount than that to which he or it is entitled, shall be liable for repayment of any excess benefits or payments received and, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, civil penalties consisting of (1) the interest on the amount of excess benefits or payments at the maximum legal rate in effect on the date the payment was made to such person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity for the period from the date upon which payment was made to the date upon which repayment is made to the State, (2) an amount not to exceed 3 times the amount of such excess benefits or payments, and (3) the sum of $2,000 for each excessive claim for benefits or payments. Upon entry of a judgment for repayment of any excess benefits or payments, or for any civil penalties assessed by the court, a lien shall attach to all property and assets of such person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity until the judgment is satisfied.
        (c) Civil recoveries provided for in this Section may be recoverable in court proceedings initiated by the Attorney General or, in actions involving a local governmental unit, by the State's Attorney.
        (d) Any person who commits the offense of vendor fraud or recipient fraud as defined in Section 8A‑2 and Section 8A‑3 of this Article shall forfeit, according to the provisions of this subsection, any monies, profits or proceeds, and any interest or property which the sentencing court determines he has acquired or maintained, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part as a result of such offense. Such person shall also forfeit any interest in, securities of, claim against, or contractual right of any kind which affords him a source of influence over, any enterprise which he has established, operated, controlled, conducted, or participated in conducting, where his relationship to or connection with any such thing or activity directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, is traceable to any thing or benefit which he has obtained or acquired through vendor fraud or recipient fraud.
        Proceedings instituted pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to and conducted in accordance with the following procedures:
        (1) The sentencing court shall, upon petition by the Attorney General or State's Attorney at any time following sentencing, conduct a hearing to determine whether any property or property interest is subject to forfeiture under this subsection. At the forfeiture hearing the People shall have the burden of establishing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the property or property interests are subject to such forfeiture.
        (2) In any action brought by the People of the State of Illinois under this Section, in which any restraining order, injunction or prohibition or any other action in connection with any property or interest subject to forfeiture under this subsection is sought, the circuit court presiding over the trial of the person charged with recipient fraud or vendor fraud as defined in Sections 8A‑2 or 8A‑3 of this Article shall first determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the person so charged has committed the offense of recipient fraud or vendor fraud and whether the property or interest is subject to forfeiture under this subsection. To make such a determination, prior to entering any such order, the court shall conduct a hearing without a jury, at which the People shall establish that there is (i) probable cause that the person so charged has committed the offense of recipient fraud or vendor fraud and (ii) probable cause that any property or interest may be subject to forfeiture pursuant to this subsection. Such hearing may be conducted simultaneously with a preliminary hearing, if the prosecution is commenced by information or complaint, or by motion of the People at any stage in the proceedings. The court may accept a finding of probable cause at a preliminary hearing following the filing of an information charging the offense of recipient fraud or vendor fraud as defined in Sections 8A‑2 or 8A‑3 or the return of an indictment by a grand jury charging the offense of recipient fraud or vendor fraud as defined in Sections 8A‑2 or 8A‑3 of this Article as sufficient evidence of probable cause as provided in item (i) above. Upon such a finding, the circuit court shall enter such restraining order, injunction or prohibition, or shall take such other action in connection with any such property or other interest subject to forfeiture under this Act as is necessary to insure that such property is not removed from the jurisdiction of the court, concealed, destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the owner of that property or interest prior to a forfeiture hearing under this subsection. The Attorney General or State's Attorney shall file a certified copy of such restraining order, injunction or other prohibition with the recorder of deeds or registrar of titles of each county where any such property of the defendant may be located. No such injunction, restraining order or other prohibition shall affect the rights of any bonafide purchaser, mortgagee, judgement creditor or other lien holder arising prior to the date of such filing. The court may, at any time, upon verified petition by the defendant, conduct a hearing to determine whether all or portions of any such property or interest which the court previously determined to be subject to forfeiture or subject to any restraining order, injunction, or prohibition or other action, should be released. The court may in its discretion release such property to the defendant for good cause shown.
        (3) Upon conviction of a person under this Article, the court shall authorize the Director of the Illinois Department of State Police to seize all property or other interest declared forfeited under this subsection upon such terms and conditions as the court shall deem proper.
        (4) The Director of the Illinois Department of State Police is authorized to sell all property forfeited and seized pursuant to this subsection, unless such property is required by law to be destroyed or is harmful to the public. After the deduction of all requisite expenses of administration and sale, the court shall order the Director to distribute to the Illinois Department an amount from the proceeds of the forfeited property, or monies forfeited or seized, which will satisfy any unsatisfied court order of restitution entered pursuant to a conviction under this Article. If the proceeds are less than the amount necessary to satisfy the order of restitution, the Director shall distribute to the Illinois Department the entire amount of the remaining proceeds. The Director shall distribute any remaining proceeds of such sale, along with any monies forfeited or seized, in accordance with the following schedules:
        (a) 25% shall be distributed to the unit of local government whose officers or employees conducted the investigation into recipient fraud or vendor fraud and caused the arrest or arrests and prosecution leading to the forfeiture. Amounts distributed to units of local government shall be used solely for enforcement matters relating to detection, investigation or prosecution of recipient fraud or vendor fraud as defined in Section 8A‑2 or 8A‑3 of this Article. Where the investigation, arrest or arrests leading to the prosecution and forfeiture is undertaken solely by the Illinois Department of State Police, the portion provided hereunder shall be paid into the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Prevention Fund, which is hereby created in the State treasury. Monies from this fund shall be used by the Department of State Police for the furtherance of enforcement matters relating to detection, investigation or prosecution of recipient fraud or vendor fraud. Monies directed to this fund shall be used in addition to, and not as a substitute for, funds annually appropriated to the Department of State Police for medicaid fraud enforcement.
        (b) 25% shall be distributed to the county in which the prosecution and petition for forfeiture resulting in the forfeiture was instituted, and deposited in a special fund in the county treasury and appropriated to the State's Attorney for use solely in enforcement matters relating to detection, investigation or prosecution of recipient fraud or vendor fraud; however, if the Attorney General brought the prosecution resulting in the forfeiture, the portion provided hereunder shall be paid into the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Prevention Fund, to be used by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Illinois Department of State Police for enforcement matters relating to detection, investigation or prosecution of recipient fraud or vendor fraud. Where the Attorney General and a State's Attorney have jointly participated in any portion of the proceedings, 12.5% shall be distributed to the county in which the prosecution resulting in the forfeiture was instituted, and used as specified herein, and 12.5% shall be paid into the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Prevention Fund, and used as specified herein.
        (c) 50% shall be transmitted to the State Treasurer for deposit in the General Revenue Fund.
    (Source: P.A. 85‑707.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑7.1)(from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑7.1)
        Sec. 8A‑7.1. The Director, upon making a determination based upon information in the possession of the Illinois Department, that continuation in practice of a licensed health care professional would constitute an immediate danger to the public, shall submit a written communication to the Director of Professional Regulation indicating such determination and additionally providing a complete summary of the information upon which such determination is based, and recommending that the Director of Professional Regulation immediately suspend such person's license. All relevant evidence, or copies thereof, in the Illinois Department's possession may also be submitted in conjunction with the written communication. A copy of such written communication, which is exempt from the copying and inspection provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, shall at the time of submittal to the Director of Professional Regulation be simultaneously mailed to the last known business address of such licensed health care professional by certified or registered postage, United States Mail, return receipt requested. Any evidence, or copies thereof, which is submitted in conjunction with the written communication is also exempt from the copying and inspection provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.
        The Director, upon making a determination based upon information in the possession of the Illinois Department, that a licensed health care professional is willfully committing fraud upon the Illinois Department's medical assistance program, shall submit a written communication to the Director of Professional Regulation indicating such determination and additionally providing a complete summary of the information upon which such determination is based. All relevant evidence, or copies thereof, in the Illinois Department's possession may also be submitted in conjunction with the written communication.
        Upon receipt of such written communication, the Director of Professional Regulation shall promptly investigate the allegations contained in such written communication. A copy of such written communication, which is exempt from the copying and inspection provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, shall at the time of submission to the Director of Professional Regulation, be simultaneously mailed to the last known address of such licensed health care professional by certified or registered postage, United States Mail, return receipt requested. Any evidence, or copies thereof, which is submitted in conjunction with the written communication is also exempt from the copying and inspection provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.
        For the purposes of this Section, "licensed health care professional" means any person licensed under the Illinois Dental Practice Act, the Nurse Practice Act, the Medical Practice Act of 1987, the Pharmacy Practice Act, the Podiatric Medical Practice Act of 1987, or the Illinois Optometric Practice Act of 1987.
    (Source: P.A. 95‑639, eff. 10‑5‑07; 95‑689, eff. 10‑29‑07; 95‑876, eff. 8‑21‑08.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑8) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑8)
        Sec. 8A‑8. Future Participation in the Public Assistance Program.
        (a) Any person applying for public assistance under this Code who has been found guilty of a violation of this Article or of any law of the United States or of any state which is substantially similar to Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 for violations related to public assistance or medical assistance programs of the kind provided under this Code and who has not been previously convicted for a violation of this Article or of any law of the United States or of any state which is substantially similar to Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 for violations related to public assistance or medical assistance programs of the kind provided under this Code shall have applications for public assistance under this Code reviewed by an administrative review board to determine the person's eligibility and the need for administrative safeguards to prevent any such further violations. The administrative review board shall be composed of not less than two persons who are selected in accordance with regulations of the Illinois Department or the local governmental unit. Hearings conducted by the board shall:
            (1) be of an informal nature, permitting the
         applicant to attend at his option;
            (2) be open to the public, unless the applicant and
         the administrative review board determine otherwise;
            (3) be subject to reasonable time and notification
         requirements as determined by regulations of the Illinois Department or local governmental units; and
            (4) be held at a location convenient to the
         applicant.
        At the hearing, the administrative review board may deny the application based on an investigation of the person's eligibility, or the board may appoint a substitute payee, require more frequent visits or consultations, more frequent financial reports or require any other action to the extent permitted by State and federal law and regulations. A decision by the administrative review board to deny a person's application shall only be based on the person's failure to qualify under the eligibility criteria applicable to all applicants for the public assistance program in question. Any decision by the administrative review board may be appealed pursuant to the provisions of this Code. In no instance shall the administrative review board delay the hearing or its decision beyond the time allowed under State or federal law and regulations for determining an applicant's eligibility for public assistance.
        If the person has been determined eligible, the Illinois Department or the local governmental unit may recoup prior payments obtained in violation of this Article from the current cash assistance grants, unless such payments have previously been repaid. The Illinois Department or the local governmental unit, on a case by case basis, shall limit the amount deducted from the current cash assistance grant so as not to cause undue hardship to the person.
        (b) To the extent permitted under federal law, any person found guilty of a first violation of this Article or of any law of the United States or of any state which is substantially similar to Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 for violations related to public assistance or medical assistance programs of the kind provided under this Code may be suspended from eligibility for public aid under this Code. Any person found guilty of a second or subsequent violation of this Article or of any law of the United States or of any state which is substantially similar to Sections 8A‑2 through 8A‑5 for violations related to public assistance or medical assistance programs of the kind provided under this Code shall be ineligible for public aid under this Code.
        (c) In no instance shall this Section adversely affect the eligibility of children who are in need of public aid under this Code, or the amount of the grant received by such children. If a child's caretaker relative is adversely affected by this Section, a substitute payee may be appointed until the Illinois Department can determine, by rule, that the caretaker relative can manage the public aid in the best interest of the child.
        (d) Any person, firm, corporation, association, agency, institution or other legal entity that has been convicted of a violation of this Article shall be prohibited from participating as a vendor of goods or services to recipients of public aid under this Code. Such prohibition shall extend to any person with management responsibility in a firm, corporation, association, agency, institution, or other legal entity that has been convicted of any such violation and to an officer or person owning, either directly or indirectly, 5% or more of the shares of stock or other evidences of ownership in a corporation.
        (e) Any employee of the Illinois Department, county department or local governmental unit who has been found guilty of a violation of this Article shall be terminated from employment.
    (Source: P.A. 89‑489, eff. 1‑1‑97; 90‑725, eff. 8‑7‑98.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑9) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑9)
        Sec. 8A‑9. Special Investigations Unit. There shall be established within the administrative staff a unit to investigate all matters pertaining to the fraudulent acquisition of public aid, including administrative funds. The investigation may be conducted without prior notice to the recipients, to the personnel administering the cases or to vendors or other persons involved. The unit shall also investigate any other matter relating to the administration of public aid assigned to it by the Director of the Illinois Department. The Illinois Department may make the facts revealed by any investigation available to the Attorney General or to the appropriate State's Attorney.
    (Source: P.A. 82‑440.)

        (305 ILCS 5/8A‑10) (from Ch. 23, par. 8A‑10)
        Sec. 8A‑10. Savings provisions. Notwithstanding any amendments or repealer provisions in this amendatory Act of 1981, Sections 11‑21, 11‑24, 12‑15, 12‑15.1 and 12‑21.19 of "The Illinois Public Aid Code" shall remain in force (1) for the prosecution a

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