The Office of the Executive Inspector General is setting up a team to investigate waste, fraud and abuse by recipients of state grants. A state inspector general’s report blames a lack of oversight for up to $18 million in waste, fraud, and abuse. An example is the case of George Smith, a Chicago provider who allegedly falsely claimed to be a psychiatrist, was accused of obtaining the grants through the Department of Children and Family Services from 2008-11 for, among other things, no-work contracts.
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Smith was a friend of then-DCFS director Erwin McEwen, who was allowed to resign. “Our investigation found, among other things, that lack of state agency oversight allowed (Smith) to receive funds for services not provided, or to bill for the same services from multiple grant funds,” says deputy inspector general Neil Olson. Six investigators make up the new Grant Review Initiative Team.