- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A multimillion-dollar state-grant fraud case is in the hands of a federal jury.

Defense attorneys argued Tuesday that Chicago businessman Leon Dingle Jr. and his wife Karin were unaware that their trusted bookkeeper was stealing Illinois Department of Public Health grant money intended for AIDS and cancer awareness.

The Dingles are charged with conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering. Authorities say they stole $3.4 million out of $11 million in grant money issued from 2004 to 2007.

Defense attorney Ed Genson says the Dingles’ failure was trusting employee Jacquelyn Kilpatrick, who stole $1 million and has pleaded guilty.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Bass countered in a rebuttal closing argument that it’s absurd to believe the Dingles were in the dark about the rampant fraud.

The jury will begin deliberating Wednesday.

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