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Press Release

Former Veterans Affairs Procurement Supervisor Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Pocketing Kickbacks

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A former procurement supervisor at the Jesse Brown Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Chicago has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for pocketing kickbacks from the president of a medical supply company to steer the company orders that the VA paid for but never received.

THOMAS E. DUNCAN, 40, of Chicago, pleaded guilty last year to one count of wire fraud.  In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Steven C. Seeger on Friday ordered Duncan to pay $1,709,344 in restitution.

The sentence was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Gregory Billingsley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Central Field Office.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heidi Manschreck.

While serving as a supervisor in the medical center’s Central Supply department, Duncan received thousands of dollars in kickbacks paid in cash and checks from DANIEL DINGLE, the president of a medical supply company in Dolton, Ill.  The checks were made payable to Helping Hands Properties LLC – a third-party entity managed by Duncan – and contained false and misleading memo entries in order to conceal and disguise the existence and purpose of the kickbacks.  In exchange for the kickbacks, Duncan used his official position at the VA to fraudulently initiate and approve purchases of products from Dingle’s company, knowing that many of the products would not actually be delivered to the VA.

The fraud scheme began in 2012 and continued until 2019.  In late 2018, after Duncan became aware that the VA Inspector General’s Office was investigating his conduct, Duncan created fake invoices from Helping Hands purporting to document work performed for Dingle’s company.  Duncan also told Dingle to falsely tell investigators that the payments Duncan received from Dingle’s company were for work performed by Helping Hands.

Dingle, 53, of Riverdale, Ill., also pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge.  He is awaiting sentencing.

Updated April 15, 2024

Financial Fraud
Health Care Fraud
Public Corruption