Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Multi-State License Fraud Investigation Results in Over $85,000 in Fines and Restitution

Multi-State License Fraud Investigation Results in Over $85,000 in Fines and Restitution

If there is ever a reason for more Illinois Conservation Police Officers within the Illinois Department of Natural Resources "Operation Double Dip" is a perfect example of why.  Sometimes as an outdoor enthusiast you may forget that their job goes farther then just driving around in a truck, checking hunting or fishing licenses.  In fact they do some creditable work and investigating to keep our natural resources safe.  Congratulations to all those Illinois CPO who help work and prevent more injustices against our natural resources.   

“Operation Double Dip” Prevents Would-Be Hunters from Claiming Residency in Two States

From the Press Office of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois Conservation Police and Indiana Conservation Officers investigated cases of hunting license/permit fraud beginning in early 2015 extending through 2016 that have resulted in over $85,000 in fines and restitution.

“Operation Double Dip was started to investigate individuals who claim residency in Illinois and Indiana in order to purchase hunting licenses/deer permits at the cheaper resident rate,” said Sgt. David Hyatt, Illinois Conservation Police. “This is a case that protects the privileges of our legitimate resident hunters and ensures that each state receives the funding needed for fish and wildlife projects.”

Both Indiana and Illinois laws state, “No person may claim residency in more than one state at the same time for the purpose of purchasing resident hunting or fishing licenses.” This investigation revealed that many of the defendants had defrauded the state for several years.

In the state of Illinois, 211 counts of falsification were filed. A 100 percent conviction rate was recorded against all Illinois defendants, who have been ordered to pay over $65,000 in restitution and fines. Prosecution was handled by the Illinois Attorney General’s office and the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s office.

“Conservation Law Enforcement is an important component in the protection and continual improvement of our state’s natural resources,” said Col. Danny L. East, Indiana DNR Law Enforcement Division Director. “The cooperative efforts of both Indiana and Illinois law enforcement divisions were vital to the success of this case.”

A total of 21 years of hunting privilege revocations were ordered against Illinois defendants.

Indiana has recorded an estimated 57 defendants because of this investigation. The majority of Indiana cases are still pending and final amount of charges has not been determined. $20,581.50 in restitution has been ordered and 12 years of hunting privileges have been revoked against Indiana defendants so far in this case.

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe

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