A former Illinois Department of Public Health aide has been sentenced to eight years in prison for her part in a kickback scheme that defrauded the state of millions of dollars.
Quinshaunta R. Golden, of Homewood, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Springfield.
Golden, 46, is the niece of U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis and served as chief of staff at the Illinois Department of Public Health from 2003 to early 2008.
Prosecutors claim Golden conspired with a former IDPH aide, Roxanne B. Jackson, and Chicago social services provider Leon Dingle Jr. to steer millions of dollars in state health department grants and contracts their way and, in return, get kickbacks.
At Golden’s direction, $772,500 went to Jackson — who worked for Dingle as a consultant after leaving the department — and kicked back half of that sum to Golden.
Golden also got additional kickbacks from Jackson through a health department contract Golden gave to a security company owned by Jackson’s brother, according to prosecutors and her plea deal.
Prosecutors also claimed Golden tried to persuade a witness in the case in order to obstruct a grand jury investigation.
Golden pleaded guilty in April 2014 to bribery and theft, and obstruction of justice. In her plea agreement, she also agreed to cooperate in possible future government investigations.
The State Journal-Register reports that in a plea for leniency, Golden said she has already suffered for her actions. She said she “will wear the face of guilt, shame and embarrassment forever.”
Golden must serve three years of supervised released after prison, and will begin serving her sentence in September, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. She and Jackson have been ordered to pay $1 million in restitution to IDPH.
Jackson was sentenced to 25 months in prison for the kickback scheme and filing false income tax returns, federal authorities said.
Last December, a jury convicted Dingle and his wife, Karin, in a separate case of conspiracy to defraud, mail fraud and money laundering for their use of grant money. They are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 10.
Contributing: The Associated Press