Jury Convicts Chicago Couple On All Counts Chargedin Multi-million Dollar State Grant Fraud Scheme
Springfield, Ill. – A jury in Springfield, Ill., deliberated approximately five hours today before returning guilty verdicts on all counts charged against Leon Dingle, Jr., and his wife, Karin Dingle, of Chicago. The Dingles were charged with taking $3.35 million from grant funds awarded by the Illinois Department of Public Health for their personal benefit and to pay personal expenses. Sentencing is scheduled on April 9, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Richard Mills.
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, 77, served as the president, CEO, treasurer, and sole shareholder of AHSEA; Karin Dingle, 75, served as vice-president and secretary. Leon and Karin Dingle were charged with using non-profit organizations as straw grantees to fraudulently solicit and obtain more than $11 million in grant funds from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The majority of the grant funds were non-competitively awarded and paid up-front, for programs relating to breast, cervical and prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS, and emergency preparedness.
“Today, the court specifically noted its appreciation for the excellent work of the law enforcement agents and to all parties involved in the presentation of the case to the jury over eight weeks of trial,” said U.S. Attorney Lewis. “We too, are extremely appreciative of the extraordinary work by the agents of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the Illinois Secretary of State’s 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.
Two co-defendants, Jacquelyn Kilpatrick, 59, and Edmond Clemons, 68, previously entered pleas of guilty related to their respective roles in the fraud. Kilpatrick, bookkeeper and vice-president of operations for AHSEA, pled guilty on Oct. 17, 2014, to one count of mail fraud and to an information charging her with filing a false income tax return. Kilpatrick is scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 18. Kilpatrick, with Clemons, also operated another business, known as Jeck Consultants, LLC. On Oct. 2, 2014, Clemons pled guilty to an information charging him with filing a false income tax return. Sentencing for Clemons is scheduled on Feb. 12, 2015.
At sentencing, the maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to defraud (one count as to each defendant) is up to five years in prison; for each count of mail fraud (Leon Dingle 10 counts; Karin Dingle four counts) and for money laundering (Leon Dingle two counts; Karin Dingle one count) the penalty is up to 20 years in prison.