Illinois Conservation Police and Indiana Conservation Officers investigated cases of hunting license/permit fraud beginning in early 2015 extending through 2016 that has 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 law 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.
211 counts of falsification were filed in the state of Illinois. A one hundred 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 Colonel 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 $20,581.50 in restitution has been ordered and 12 years of hunting privileges have been revoked against Indiana defendants, so far in this case.