Former Illinois Medical District Commissioner indicted; accused of taking state grant money
SPRINGFIELD – A former member of the Illinois Medical District Commission is in hot water with federal prosecutors, accused of laundering and funneling millions of dollars in state public health grant money to pay for personal luxuries such as yacht club memberships, fancy cars and vacation homes.
A federal grand jury on Thursday returned a 23-count indictment against Leon Dingle Jr., 75, and his wife, Karin Dingle, 73, both of Chicago, and Jacquelyn Kilpatrick, 57, and Edmond Clemons, 66, both of Phoenix, Ill.
The four are accused of working together to take grant money from the Illinois Department of Public Health between 2004 and 2010 and use it for personal and family expenses. Leon Dingle was a member of the Illinois Medical District Commission from 2001 until earlier this year, according to state records.
The Dingles owned a for-profit corporation called Advance Health, Social and Educational Associates. Kilpatrick was a bookkeeper for it. She and Clemons live at the same address.
According to the indictment, Leon Dingle and Kilpatrick used non-profit organizations as “straw grantees” – ones that applied for the grants but turned over control of the awards to someone else – to obtain more than $11 million in grant money that was supposed to be used for programs relating to breast, cervical and prostate cancer; HIV and AIDS; and emergency preparedness.
The two told state authorities the money would be used by three nonprofits — the Broadcast Ministers Alliance of Chicago, Access Wellness and Racial Equity and Medical Health Association. The indictment alleges control of the grant money was transferred to Leon Dingle and Kilpatrick after the grants were awarded.
The Dingles allegedly used millions to buy certificates of deposit; fund yacht club memberships, luxury cars and vacation homes; pay for mortgages and other expenses for family members; and for legal fees for lawsuits against Leon Dingle and AHSEA.
Kilpatrick and Clemons are accused of using the money for expenses associated with a vacation home, luxury cars, certificates of deposit, a fur coat and college tuition and loans for family members.
In addition, all four are accused of failing to report federal and state income taxes on $1.4 million in income, most of which was grant funds.
All four are to be arraigned Nov. 7 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron Cudmore at the federal courthouse in Springfield.
The Illinois Medical District Commission, around since 1941, has seven members who are supposed to oversee medical development on the near west side of Chicago. Members are appointed by the governor, the Cook County president and the mayor of Chicago.
Contact Jayette Bolinski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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