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Former WDCB Engineer Charged With Felony Theft

College, police allege John Valenta fraudulently billed the school for $200,000+

A former part-time engineer for the College of DuPage station WDCB(FM), Chicago, has been charged with stealing more than $200,000 from the station.

Sixty-five year-old John Valenta was charged with felony theft; if convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison, the Daily Herald quotes the DuPage County state’s attorney spokesman Paul Darrah as saying. But it could be as much as 30 years if authorities further charge him with a certain class of felony theft that carries a more serious penalty because it involves a school.

Valenta worked at the station from June 2006 through December 2013. Prosecutors claim he billed the college for more than $200,000 from his contract engineering services firm, Broadcast Technologies, for parts that were never used and labor that was not performed.

College officials uncovered the fraud in 2013 and reported it to the police, according to the account.

The Chicago Tribune reported in January that WDCB continued to employ Valenta and pay his business for nearly two years after he was convicted of a felony for stealing from another school — Elmhurst College. He pleaded guilty in 2013 and was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $11,270 in restitution — the amount of the purchases he admitted fabricating, according to court records, reports the Tribune.

The Daily Herald reports the Illinois State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said the case “clearly illustrates the concept of simple greed. The defendant had a good job for more than two decades before he allegedly decided to illegally supplement his income at the expense of the College of DuPage.”

Valenta’s next court appearance is slated for March 2.