Former DHS worker pleads guilty to stealing $114k in cash assistance

RANDOLPH COUNTY — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Thursday that a former Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) caseworker pleaded guilty to charges of theft and official misconduct for stealing more than $114,000 in assistance for needy families.

Mary Hurst, 50, of Steeleville, was sentenced Thursday in Randolph County Criminal Court after pleading guilty to one count of theft of government monies more than $100,000, five counts of wire fraud and six counts of official misconduct.

Hurst was sentenced to 30 months of probation and ordered to pay $114,819 in restitution.

According to Madigan, when Hurst was an IDHS caseworker at the Randolph County Family Community Resource Center, she created four fictitious clients and issued herself LINK cards loaded with state funds in those names.

Hurst then used the fake accounts to make withdrawals at various ATMs from 2012 to 2015. In total, Madigan alleged Hurst misappropriated $114,819 in state funds earmarked for families in need for personal profit.