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Fraud charges filed against closed training center workers

March 4, 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — Conspiracy and fraud charges have been filed against six workers of a defunct employment training center in Chicago that allegedly enrolled fictitious students.

The indictment made public Friday in U.S. District Court alleges workers for the Center for Employment Training submitted fake diplomas, falsified test records and created bogus employment records. They used the information to apply for millions in federal funds.

Charged were former director, Marie Pickett of Chicago; admissions adviser Janie Blakeney; financial aid officer Deborah Williams; financial aid assistant Jenny Morales and two former instructors, Heather Smith and Tamaura Balark.

Each is charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and fraudulently obtaining federal financial assistance.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason has released all six on their own recognizance. It wasn’t immediately known if those charged have legal representation.

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