Blog Posts, Local, Park Forest, State Crime Reports

37 Workers at Ludeman Developmental Targeted in PPP Fraud Probe

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- eNews Park Forest learned the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General launched a PPP fraud probe targeting 37 current or former employees at Ludeman Center. The news comes to us through investigative reporting by Molly Parker for Capitol News Illinois.

The full article is available on WTTW’s website:

At Ludeman Developmental Center in Park Forest, 37 employees have been fired, resigned or face pending disciplinary action after a state watchdog found that they defrauded a federal pandemic-era small business loan program.

The employees who work at the state-run developmental center in south suburban Cook County include 32 mental health technicians – about 6 percent of frontline workers with that job – three residential services supervisors, one habilitation program coordinator and a licensed practical nurse.

A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Human Services, the agency that runs the 383-bed residential center for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, confirmed these additional details late last week.

Neil Olson, the general counsel for the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General, previously confirmed to Capitol News Illinois that dozens of employees of state agencies and other entities under the OEIG’s jurisdiction are the subjects of an ongoing investigation into whether they fraudulently obtained Paycheck Protection Program loans. Beyond confirming the investigation, Olson declined to provide any additional details about the probe.

Figures from Before the PPP Fraud Investigation at Ludeman

eNews Park Forest reported extensively on Ludeman Center through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of May 9, 20023, IDPH reports there were 861 employees at Ludeman Center. A total of 617 confirmed positive for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. Of these, 612 returned to work. The same report lists 311 residents at the facility on May 9. A total of 489 residents contracted COVID and 422 recovered.

According to the IDHS:

The Elisabeth Ludeman Center occupies 60 acres in Park Forest at the southwest corner of Orchard Drive and North Street.

The Center is divided into three (3) residential units comprised of 13-14 homes. Each unit has a centrally located Neighborhood House which has offices for the Unit Director, Social Worker, Unit Physician, Nursing Personnel, Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professionals, (QIDP’s), Residential Services Supervisors and clerical personnel. The Ludeman Center also serves as an admission center for individuals having significant adaptive issues in the community-based setting. The Interdisciplinary teams’ main priority is to stabilize and ensure a successful transition back into the community.

Each of the 40 ranch-style homes has a kitchen, dining/living room area, utility room which contains a washer and dryer, two full and one half bathrooms, and five bedrooms.

Approximately half of the people who currently reside at the Ludeman Center attend vocational training programs at community training sites or workshops. The remainder of the people are served in on-campus day training programs. Currently, several individuals are working in a food service program, housekeeping program, horticulture program (vegetable garden and greenhouse flowers) and in the Center-wide recycling program.