Chicago couple sentenced in for state grant fraud

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A Chicago businessman convicted of stealing $2.9 million in state grant funds has been sentenced six years in prison.

Leon Dingle Jr. was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard Mills on Monday. The 78-year-old Dingle and his wife Karin were convicted in December 2014 on 17 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering. Authorities say they engaged in a scheme to steal millions in Illinois Department of Public Health grants.

Prosecutors say the Dingles used the money to pay for luxury cars, vacation home renovations and a $95,000 payment on their son’s mortgage.

Karen Dingle’s sentencing was expected later Monday afternoon.

Prosecutors say the Dingles and those co-defendants who pleaded guilty earlier stole $2 of every $5 they received in IDPH grant funds from 2004 to 2010.