Chicago — Prosecutors have filed criminal charges against a man who allegedly provided Cook County officials with phony employment verification records so he could move around Chicago while on electronic monitoring while awaiting trial for a felony narcotics case in 2018 and 2019.
Anthony Younger, 30, is the third person officials have accused of benefiting from a fraud mill allegedly operated by former City Colleges of Chicago basketball coach Edmond Pryor.
Younger presented documentation, purportedly from Amazon, to the Cook County sheriff’s office in 2018 so he could leave home to work for the company while on electronic monitoring, prosecutor Jack Costello said.
Authorities now believe the documents were fakes that Pryor created. Amazon told investigators that Younger never worked for the company, and the documents he presented to officials were fakes that were not in the company’s standard format, Costello alleged.
Phone records allegedly show substantial communication between Younger, Pryor, and the sheriff’s office while the scheme was underway.
Younger, who denies the state’s allegations, is charged with forgery. He has five felony convictions in his background, all narcotics-related, Costello said.
Judge Susana Ortiz ordered him to pay a $2,000 deposit toward bail and then go onto electronic monitoring while the case is pending.
Pryor, 42, was fired by City Colleges in 2019 following an unrelated internal investigation. However, that investigation uncovered “suspicious documents” on his work computer, prompting a separate investigation by the Cook County sheriff’s police, Costello said during Pryor’s bail hearing this summer.
Pryor faxed false employment records from his computer, Costello said, and two phone numbers linked to Pryor received nearly 100 calls from the number the sheriff’s office uses to verify the employment of EM participants. He also received calls from court representatives and prosecutors during the alleged fraud.
According to Costello, other documents included forged pay stubs and documents claiming that EM participants worked for UPS and Amazon. Pryor also created fake auto insurance cards that at least four people used to defend themselves against related charges in Cook and DuPage counties, Costello said. He added that the allegedly faked insurance information resulted in some charges being dismissed.
Costello stated that Pryor was compensated for his services, but prosecutors do not know how much he was paid. After being arrested in August, Pryor allegedly “made lengthy admissions,” officials said.
Prosecutors charged Pryor with forgery in August. But he maintained his innocence when asked about the charges by a Chicago Tribune reporter.
Also facing forgery charges for allegedly benefitting from fake work documentation that prosecutors say Pryor created are:
- Desmond White, who allegedly submitted phony UPS employment documentation to the sheriff’s office in February 2019 so he could get permission to travel around the city while on electronic monitoring for a pending heroin distribution case.
- Christopher Haynes, 34, who allegedly presented fake Amazon employment papers to score movement while he was on electronic monitoring for allegedly being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2019.
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