Former College of DuPage worker gets 8 years for fraud
A former College of DuPage (CoD) employee convicted of fraud earlier this year has been sentenced to eight years in prison, the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) reported.
John Valenta also has to pay more than $400,000 in restitution for providing falsified invoices for work and items that he never provided. He was sentenced on Sept. 29 by DuPage County Circuit Judge Liam Brennan, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Valenta, 68, of Wheaton, was a radio engineer at CoD and claimed the work via Broadcast Technologies, his company.
Valenta had worked at the college's radio station, WDCB-FM, since 1979, but the station's manager, Dan Bindert, began investigating spending on engineering in 2013. The situation reached a head in early 2014, when Bindert did not pay an invoice from Broadcast Technologies because he was suspicious about it. The investigation revealed invoices that described a great deal of repair and new parts for the station's transmitter, but an independent inspection of the transmitter showed that it had nearly its complete collection of original parts upon installation in 2004, the Tribune report said.
During his sentencing hearing, Valenta told Brennan that he tries to put others ahead of himself and asked for forgiveness, the Tribune reported.
Valenta was fired in May 2008 from CBS Radio, where he was chief engineer for 24 years, for falsifying invoices. He reached an agreement to repay $40,000, according to the ECW. Valenta also has been accused of falsifying invoices for equipment for Elmhurst College. Invoices taken from his home showed he replaced a part three times on the North Central College antenna and the same part twice in the transmitter. There also were invoices for Broadcast Technology for Harris Radio parts in Quincy, which had no records of sales to Valenta or his company.