Ex-Air Force official sentenced for taking contractor goodies

News-DemocratMarch 6, 2014 

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A sign welcomes visitors through the Belleville Gate entrance at Scott Air Force Base.

SSGT CHAD R. GANN, USAF — Chad R. Gann, USAF

— A federal judge sentenced Dennis Charles Toenjes Sr., 66, to three years of probation after pleading guilty to the charge of receiving gratuities in connection with his former role as a U.S. Air Force contracting official at Scott Air Force Base.

Toenjes must serve the first six months of his sentence via home confinement. He must also pay a $500 fine and a special assessment of $100, according to a statement issued Thursday by U.S. Attorney Steve Wigginton.

Evidence revealed in court records show that on Feb. 3, 2009, Toenjes accepted $9,382 worth of gratuities from Stephen Keith Sweet, the owner of an asbestos abatement company in South Roxana that had performed work at Scott.

Gratuities included Sweet's payment of Toenjes' car repairs and his home heating and cooling repairs. Sweet is serving an 18-month prison sentence for tax fraud and paying gratuities to a government official.

The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations. It was prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorney Liam Coonan and special assistant U.S. attorney Michael Hallock, according to Wigginton's press release.

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