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Plaintiff in Iowa bias suit to face theft charge

By RYAN J. FOLEY
Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa workforce adviser helping lead a class-action discrimination lawsuit filed by black workers is expected to face federal charges of embezzlement and identity theft.

Linda Pippen is due in court Wednesday for a hearing where she is expected to plead guilty to using her position at Iowa Workforce Development to carry out a fraud scheme in which she embezzled $43,000 in benefits meant for jobless Iowans.

Pippen is a named representative in a lawsuit for up to 6,000 blacks turned down for state jobs and promotions dating back to 2003. She says she was unfairly passed over for promotions.

Prosecutors say Pippen made fraudulent entries in Iowa Workforce Development’s computer system to file applications for unemployment insurance benefits under other people’s names. She was fired last year.

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