The Springfield, IL US Attorney’s Office has been very busy since 2008 investigating several fraud schemes that involve a number of IL state grants. To this point, 13 people have been charged in the federal case, and 6 are pleading guilty.
Two of the politicians are believed to have some type of tie to President Obama. One of those charged is the daughter of Reverend Jeremiah White, who is the former pastor of the president. Another who was charged is the former chief of staff to Obama’s friend Eric Whitaker, when the latter was the public health chief for IL.
In total, federal prosecutors believe that there was $16 million in fraud that involved state health contracts, including grants for AIDS research.
Below are details of some of the criminal cases in this large federal fraud case:
- Margaret Davis and Tonja Cook, from the National Black Nurses Association. They were charged with mail fraud and money laundering. Davis has pleaded guilty, and admitted that with Cook’s help, that she stole $500,000 in grant money from IL for her own use, including to pay a mortgage and also her credit cards. Cook pleaded guilty too, and said thousands of dollars from the grants went to pay campaign workers for state senator Rickey Hendon.
- Former County Club Hills police Chief Regina R. Evans, and husband Ron Evans. The Evanes have admitted that they spent 50% of a Commerce Department grant totally $1.25 million on family gifts and to pay off their own debts. This included a large mortgage for the New Regal Theater in Chicago. State senator Donne Trotter also helped the couple to get the state grant for their nonprofit organization.
- Regina Evans and brother Ricky Mccoy, former director of We Are Our Brother’s Keeper charity. Both have been charged with money laundering, conspiracy, obstructing justice and tampering with a federal witness. Both have admitted that they conspired with a witness to come up with a story for federal agents that claimed falsely that the $1.25 million grant was used for various types of job training. The brother also admitted that he took some of the money
- Leon Dingle and wife Karin Dingle, Chicago southside businesspeople. They were charged with mail fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. Both were accused of stealing $3 million in health grants and using that money to buy more than $300,000 in CDs. They also made a $95,000 mortgage payment with the money and paid for various club memberships. their bookkeeper also allegedly stole $700,000 in grant dollars to keep a vacation house in Hilton Head. She also is alleged to have bought a Mercedes, a Cadillac and several fur coats.
Most of the above are all facing federal charges of embezzlement in addition to their state charges. Many of them could end up serving at least 10 years in federal prison for their alleged crimes.