Watch CBS News

Former Chicago VA hospital supervisor gets 7 years for kickback scheme

CBS News Live
CBS News Chicago Live

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A former procurement officer at Chicago's Jesse Brown Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center is going to prison for seven years after admitting to a kickback scheme.

Thomas E. Duncan, 40, of Chicago, pleaded guilty last year to a count of wire fraud for taking kickbacks from a medical supply company president to steer the company orders for which the VA paid, but never received, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

At the time, Duncan was serving as a supervisor at the VA hospital's central supply department, prosecutors said. He took thousands in cash and checks from Daniel Dingle, the president of a medical supply company in south suburban Dolton, prosecutors said.

The checks were made out to Helping Hands Properties LLC – a third-party company that Duncan managed – and had false memo entries to hide their purpose, prosecutors said.

In exchange for the kickbacks, Duncan falsely approved purchases from Dingle's company – knowing many of the products for which he approved the purchases would never actually show up at the VA, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the fraud scheme went on from 2012 until 2019. In late 2018, after learning the VA Inspector General's office was onto him, Duncan created fake invoices from Helping Hands that purported to document work for Dingle's company, prosecutors said.

Duncan also told Dingle to lie to investigators and say the payments he received from Dingle's company were for work performed by Duncan's Helping Hands company, prosecutors said.

Dingle, 53, of Riverdale, also pleaded guilty to a charge of wire fraud and is awaiting sentencing.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.