Restitution Deal Reached In Autism Fraud Case

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – An Illinois woman has agreed to pay restitution after being accused of a scam in which she allegedly promised to provide specially trained companion animals for children with autism.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Lea Kaydus had collected more than $5,000 through her organization, Animals for Autism. Kaydus lives in Glenarm, near Springfield.

In some cases, families got pictures of the puppies that were supposedly being trained to work with their children. In reality, the pictures had been taken years earlier and the dogs had no connection to Animals with Autism.

Madigan called the organization “a heartless scam” Thursday.

To settle a lawsuit filed by the attorney general, Kaydus agreed to repay the money she collected and abide by state fraud laws in the future.