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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Illinois AG files suit against former state vendor

By Bryan Cohen | Dec 11, 2013

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a former state vendor for allegedly misspending more than $8 million in taxpayer grant funding intended for at-risk children and their families.

George Smith allegedly misused the funds between 2005 and 2011 through his not-for-profit organization, Diversified Behavioral Comprehensive Care, and other affiliated groups. Smith allegedly used the funds on personal expenses, such as concert tickets, travel, professional sporting events and cash payments.

"George Smith enriched himself at the expense of taxpayers and children who were supposed to receive the critical services he was obligated to provide," Madigan said.

Smith allegedly paid himself more than $1 million in unidentified or misidentified cash disbursements and made multiple payments in unsupported consulting fees to Annazette Collins, a former state representative (D-10th).

Madigan's lawsuit alleges Smith fraudulently mismanaged or misspent more than $8 million in grants obtained through 39 state contracts and falsely claimed to be a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, psychologist or licensed healthcare professional to support his organization's image as a mental healthcare services provider. Smith allegedly failed to show that much of the funding was used to provide mental health, education and other related social services.

The lawsuit requests that the court force Smith to repay more than $8 million in allegedly misspent funds to the state of Illinois.

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