Chicago Couple Sentenced for Multi-Million Dollar State Grant Fraud Scheme
Springfield, Ill. – A Chicago couple convicted nearly one year ago of taking millions of dollars in state grant funds for their personal benefit and use was sentenced today. U.S. District Judge Richard Mills ordered Leon Dingle, Jr., 78, to serve six years in the federal Bureau of Prisons, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Leon Dingle was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,900,000 to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Leon Dingle’s wife, Karin, 76, was sentenced to three years in federal prison and ordered to pay $2,100,000 in restitution jointly and severally with her husband. Both were ordered to report to the Bureau of Prisons within 90 days to begin serving their respective sentences.
Judge Mills ordered that $1,093,380 from the sale of various assets belonging to the Dingles, currently in the custody of the U.S. Clerk of the Court, be applied toward payment of the restitution ordered.
Nearly one year ago, on Dec. 17, 2014, a jury convicted Leon and Karin Dingle following a weeks-long trial. Evidence presented by the government demonstrated that the Dingles used non-profit organizations as straw grantees to fraudulently solicit and obtain more than $11 million in grant funds awarded by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The majority of the grant funds were non-competitively awarded and paid up-front, for programs related to breast, cervical and prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS, and emergency preparedness.
During the time of the fraud scheme, from 2004 to June 2010, the Dingles owned and operated the for-profit corporation known as Advance Health, Social and Educational Associates, Inc., (AHSEA). Leon Dingle served as the president, CEO, treasurer, and sole shareholder of AHSEA; Karin Dingle served as vice-president and secretary.