Medical district chief allegedly defrauds $3.7M from health department

A former commissioner of the Illinois Medical District, which governs University of Illinois Hospital, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital and Rush University Medical Center, was charged for his alleged involvement in stealing $3.7 million from medical programs grants, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Leon Dingle, Jr., along with his wife and two associates used millions of dollars in grant money from the state health department to purchase luxury cars, maintain vacation homes and club memberships, enjoy sporting events, and pay mortgages for family members, according to indictment in the Central District of Illinois.

That $3.7 million in grants was supposed to fund medical programs that fight diseases, including cancer and AIDS, and provide emergency preparedness for medical disasters, according to the indictment.

Moreover, about $400,000 of the stolen funds paid legal fees related to lawsuits filed against Dingle and his company Advance Health, Social and Educational Associates, the Tribune noted.

The four individuals face charges for fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.

Thursday's indictment comes only days after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services charged 91 people in seven cities for Medicare fraud, totaling $429.2 million in alleged false billing.

For more:
- read the Tribune article
- here's the indictment