Former Illinois Department Of Public Health Administrator Pleads Guilty To Bribery, Kickback Scheme And Filing False Income Tax Return
Springfield, Ill. – A former human resources director for the Illinois Department of Public Health, Roxanne Jackson, waived indictment and pled guilty today to an information that charges her with participating in a bribery and kickback scheme related to state grants and contracts and filing false income tax returns. The information was filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois.
Jackson, 49, of Olympia Fields, Ill., appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Schanzle-Haskins in Springfield to enter her plea. Sentencing for Jackson has been scheduled for Jan. 26, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough.
According to court documents, Jackson was an associate of IDPH Chief of Staff Quinshanta Golden when Jackson and Golden devised a scheme to defraud the state related to grant funds and contract monies. Golden previously pled guilty on Apr. 10, 2014, to her role in the bribery and kickback scheme and obstruction of justice. Golden is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 31, 2014.
During today’s court hearing, Jackson admitted that from 2006 to 2010, she received more than $1,000,000 in grant funds originally awarded and disbursed to three Chicago not-for-profit organizations and in contract funds to a business identified as Security Firm A. As part of the scheme, at Golden’s direction, Jackson was hired as a paid consultant for the three not-for-profit entities and Security Firm A.
From 2004 to 2010, IDPH awarded more than 30 non-competitive grants totaling more than $11 million to three not-for-profit organizations: Broadcast Ministers Alliance, Access Wellness and Racial Equity, and the Medical Health Association. The grants were for programs relating to breast, cervical and prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS, and emergency preparedness. From 2006 through 2010, Security Firm A was paid more than $2 million in contract funds to conduct background checks and interviews of Illinois nursing home residents related to the Identified Offender Program.
Jackson admitted that as a condition to receive grant funds, she was required to pay Golden one-half of whatever she received, less any funds to be withheld for payment of taxes, which were never paid. Jackson admitted that from about July 2007 to April 2008, she made cash withdrawals of grant funds from her bank accounts and made cash payments to Golden ranging from $5,000 to as much as $70,000.
In agreement with Golden, Jackson further admitted that she was required to pay Golden kickbacks for each background investigation performed by Security Firm A. The payments ranged from $35 to $40 per investigation performed. From 2006 to 2009, Jackson received approximately $485,000 in funds from Security Firm A’s contracts with IDPH, and during 2007 and 2008, made kickback payments to Golden of approximately $109,500 in contract funds.
As a result of the scheme, from about July 2007 and continuing to approximately October 2008, Jackson admitted she repeatedly made kickback payments to Golden of grant and contract funds for a total of approximately $433,000.
As to Jackson’s filing false income tax returns for tax years 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, Jackson admitted she caused the filing of false and fraudulent federal income tax returns by failing to report a total of $908,266 in income, resulting in failure to pay $172,825 in taxes due.
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, no more than 51 months in prison. According to the plea agreement, the parties agree that restitution amount for filing false income tax returns is $172,825. A restitution amount for the bribery offense has not been determined.
Central District of Illinois U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis expressed his appreciation to the federal law enforcement officers assigned and the agencies that support the Central District of Illinois U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Public Corruption Task Force: the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Chicago Division; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Chicago Field Office; and the 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.