Former Chief Of Staff For Illinois Department Of Public Health Pleads Guilty To Bribery And Taking Kickbacks, Obstruction Of Justice
Springfield, Ill. – A former Chief of Staff for the Illinois Department of Public Health, Quinshaunta R. Golden, pled guilty today to bribery and taking kickbacks related to $13 million in grant and contract funds awarded at Golden’s direction and to obstructing justice in a federal grand jury investigation. Golden appeared before U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough in Springfield. Sentencing for Golden has been scheduled for Aug. 18, 2014.
Golden, 45, of Homewood, Ill., served as Chief of Staff at the Ill. Department of Public Health from 2003 to early 2008. In that capacity, Golden had significant control over the agency’s offices and had certain approval authority and control over the awarding of grants and contracts. In 2008, Golden left the Department of Public Health and took a position at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
During today’s hearing and according to court documents, Golden admitted that from August 2006 to at least October 2008, she used her position to cause the agency to issue approximately $11 million in grant funds, for programs relating to breast, cervical and prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS, and emergency preparedness, to three not-for-profit organizations: Broadcast Ministers Alliance, Access Wellness and Racial Equity, and the Medical Health Association. These organizations were then controlled by Leon Dingle, Jr., and his for-profit corporation known as Advance Health, Social and Educational Associates, Inc.
As part of the scheme, Golden caused Individual A to be hired as a paid consultant for Leon Dingle, Jr., and the three not-for-profit entities, as well as a paid consultant for an entity identified as Security Firm A. As a result, approximately $772,500 in grant funds, originally disbursed to the three not-for-profit entities, was paid to Individual A from July 2007 to April 2008, including approximately $407,500 paid to Individual A in April 2008 alone, at the end of Golden’s tenure at the Department of Public Health. As a condition of Individual A receiving grant funds, Golden admitted that she required Individual A to pay her one-half of whatever Individual A received, less any funds to be withheld for payment of taxes, which were never paid.
In addition, Golden caused approximately $2 million in contract funds to be paid by the Department of Public Health to Security Firm A to conduct background checks and interviews of Illinois nursing home residents related to the Identified Offender Program. Golden required Individual A to pay Golden kickback payments for each background investigation performed by Security Firm A.
Golden admitted that from February to April 2012, she persuaded and attempted to persuade Individual A, a material witness, with the intent to obstruct an official grand jury investigation in the Central District of Illinois. Golden met with Individual A on multiple occasions and falsely denied receiving improper kickback payments from A. Golden then admitted to Individual A that she caused grants to be issued to certain vendors and to Individual A, but encouraged and instructed Individual A not to tell the truth concerning the kickback scheme and to conceal the truth from A’s attorney, and to create a false story by saying that Individual A used the grant and contract funds for gambling and other personal expenses.
At sentencing, according to the terms of the plea agreement, the government has agreed to recommend to the court a sentence at the low end of the applicable advisory sentencing guidelines. The government agrees that calculation of the advisory sentencing guideline range would result in the government recommending a sentence of no higher than 121 months in prison. The defendant remains free to challenge the calculation and to recommend whatever sentence the defendant deems appropriate.
In the related but separate case, Leon Dingle, Jr., his wife Karin, both of Chicago, and two associates, Jacquelyn Kilpatrick, of Phoenix, Ill., and Edmond Clemons, of the same Phoenix address, were indicted in October 2012, on charges that they used millions of dollars in grant funds awarded by the Ill. Department of Public Health to grant recipients for their personal benefit and to pay personal expenses. Trial in this case is currently scheduled for June 3, 2014, before Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Mills in Springfield.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Central District of Illinois U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis expressed his appreciation to the federal law enforcement officers assigned and the agencies who support the Central District of Illinois U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Public Corruption Task Force: Tony Gomez, Postal Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Chicago Division; James Lee, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Chicago Field Office; and Jim Burns, Inspector General, Illinois Secretary of State Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass is prosecuting the case on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois.
Individuals who wish to provide information to law enforcement regarding matters of alleged public corruption are urged to call the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 217-492-4450.