Jury deliberates in state grant fraud case

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SPRINGFIELD - Jury deliberations have begun in the trial of a Chicago businessman and his wife, who allegedly stole $3.4 million they received in state grant funds.

Authorities say Leon Dingle, 77, and Karin Dingle, 75, have been charged with money laundering, mail fraud, and conspiracy.  The charges follow a Justice Department investigation that authorities say has already obtained four guilty pleas.

Government officials say between 2004 and 2010, the Dingles conspired with Illinois Department of Public Health officials, among others, to steal millions of dollars from $11 million in grants awarded for AIDS and cancer-awareness campaigns.

However, the Dingles' attorneys say the couple failed only in trusting their longtime bookkeeper Jacquelyn Kilpatrick.  Authorities say Kilpatrick has already pleaded guilty, and is awaiting sentencing.

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