DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin announced Sept. 29 that a Wheaton man accused of stealing more than $200,000 from the College of DuPage in 2013, was sentenced to eight years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for stealing approximately $400,000 from the College of DuPage.
John Valenta, 68, of Wheaton appeared before Judge Liam Brennan who handed down the sentence. On February 28, Valenta entered a plea of guilty to one count of Theft in Excess of $100,000 From a School or Place of Worship, a Class X Felony. The sentencing is the result of a thirteen-month-long investigation conducted by the State’s Attorney’s Office and the College of DuPage. In addition to his prison sentence, Valenta was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $399,000.
Valenta was employed as a radio station engineer at the College’s radio station, WDCB, for approximately 30 years. In October 2013, an internal audit conducted at the radio station revealed an abnormally large number of costly invoices for radio station engineering services from a company named Broadcast Technologies, which Valenta owned. Many of the invoices were for repairs to the radio transmitter, which was the responsibility of Valenta. An investigation into the matter revealed that from June, 2006, through December, 2013, Valenta submitted Broadcast Technologies invoices to the College of DuPage for merchandise and labor for work purported to be done at WDCB. The investigation also revealed that the labor and merchandise listed on the invoices were never delivered to WDCB.
“Mr. Valenta’s greed finally got the better of him,” Berlin said. “He was no longer satisfied with a good paying job he held for nearly three decades and decided that he would simply steal from not only the College of DuPage but from DuPage County taxpayers to fatten his wallet. I would like to thank the authorities at the College of DuPage, particularly Daniel Bindert and Detective Kent Munsterman, for exposing Mr. Valenta’s scheme and for bringing this matter to our attention. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Ken Tatarelis and Lynn Cavallo for their work in holding Mr. Valenta responsible for his actions.”
Valenta will be required to serve 50 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.