Springfield, Ill. –A former Chief of Staff for the Illinois Department of Public Health, Quinshaunta R. Golden, was sentenced to a federal prison term of eight years (96 months) today for taking bribes and kickbacks related to $13 million in grant and contract funds awarded at her direction and for obstructing justice in a federal grand jury investigation. Golden appeared today before U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough in Springfield.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Myerscough ordered that Golden pay $1,000,000 in restitution to IDPH, jointly and severally with Roxanne Jackson, a defendant in a separate but related case. Golden was ordered to remain on supervised release for three years following her release from prison. Golden remains on bond and will self-report to the federal Bureau of Prisons on Sept. 1, 2015, to begin serving her sentence.
Golden, 46, of Homewood, Ill., served as Chief of Staff at IDPH 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 and took a position at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
On April 10, 2014, Golden pled guilty to taking bribes and kickbacks pursuant to a plea agreement. On May 29, 2015, an addendum was filed related to Golden’s plea agreement that established that Golden did not oppose the presentence report finding that she was not entitled to a sentencing adjustment for acceptance of responsibility.
According to evidence presented by the government during sentencing and court documents, from 2006 to 2008, Golden used her agency position to direct 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 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. (AHSEA)
As part of the scheme, Golden directed that an associate, Roxanne Jackson, a former IDPH administrator, be hired as a paid consultant for Leon Dingle, Jr., and the three not-for-profit entities. As a result, approximately $772,500 in grant funds disbursed to the three not-for-profit entities was paid to Jackson from July 2007 to April 2008. This included approximately $407,500 in April 2008, at the end of Golden’s tenure at IDPH. As a condition of Jackson receiving grant funds, Golden required that Jackson pay her one-half of whatever she received, less any funds to be withheld for payment of taxes, which were never paid.
Golden further directed that Jackson work as a paid consultant for VIP Security. Golden caused approximately $2 million in contract funds to be paid by IDPH to VIP Security to conduct background checks and interviews of Illinois nursing home residents related to the Identified Offender Program. Golden required that Jackson give Golden kickback payments for each background investigation performed by VIP Security.
From February to April 2012, Golden attempted to persuade a material witness with the intent to obstruct an official grand jury investigation in the Central District of Illinois. Golden met with the witness on multiple occasions and falsely denied receiving improper kickback payments. Golden admitted to the witness that she caused grants to be issued to certain vendors and to the witness, but encouraged and instructed the witness not to tell the truth concerning the kickback scheme and to conceal the truth from the witness’s attorney and the grand jury, and to create a false story by saying that the witness used the grant and contract funds for gambling and other personal expenses.
In a related but separate case, in December 2014, a jury convicted Leon Dingle, Jr., and his wife Karin, both of Chicago, of conspiracy to defraud, mail fraud and money laundering for their use of millions of dollars in grant funds for their personal benefit and to pay personal expenses. Sentencing for the couple is scheduled on Sept. 10, 2015.
Sentencing for Jacquelyn Kilpatrick, bookkeeper and vice-president of operations for AHSEA, is scheduled on Sept. 15, 2015. Kilpatrick pled guilty to one count of mail fraud and filing a false income tax return. Kilpatrick’s husband, Edmond Clemons, is also scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 15, after he pled guilty to filing a false income tax return.
Roxanne Jackson was sentenced on June 12, to 25 months in federal prison for her part in the bribery and kickback scheme and filing false income tax returns. Jackson was also ordered to pay $1,000,000 in restitution jointly and severally with Golden to IDPH.
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 and participated in this investigation: U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Chicago Division; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Chicago Field Office; the Illinois Secretary of State Office of Inspector General; and, Illinois State Police, Division of Internal Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass prosecuted 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.