Former Scott official pleads guilty to receiving gratuities from Air Force contractor

News-DemocratSeptember 18, 2013 

— Dennis Charles Toenjes Sr., 66, has pleaded guilty to receiving nearly $9,400 in illegal gratuities in connection with his former role as a U.S. Air Force contracting official, according to an announcement issued Wednesday by Stephen R. Wigginton, the U.S. attorney for Southern Illinois.

Toenjes on or about February 3, 2009, allowed Stephen Keith Sweet, the owner of an asbestos abatement company that performed work at Scott Air Force Base, to pay for Toenjes' car and home heating and cooling repairs, which totaled $9,382, according to Wigginton.

The charge Toenjes pleaded guilty to carries maximum penalties of 2 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and one year of supervised release. Sentencing has been set for Jan. 24.

In late January, a U.S. District judge in East St. Louis sentenced Sweet, of South Roxana, to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release after Sweet was convicted of tax evasion and making illegal payments to an Air Force official.

The court ordered Sweet, the owner of Lake Environmental Inc., and Abatement Management Inc., to pay a fine of $52,400, restitution of nearly $227,000 and a special assessment of $200.

Sweet admitted in court that he willfully filed a false federal income return after diverting business funds to his personal use without declaring those funds as personal income.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at or 618-239-2533.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service