A Naperville husband and wife were sentenced to prison Tuesday in connection with public contract fraud involving projects at O'Hare International Airport and in the Village of Orland Park, according to an FBI press release.
Aurora Venegas, 63, and her husband, Thomas Masen, 67, both of Naperville, were sentenced to federal prison after engaging in a scheme to steer minority contracts through Venegas' supply company, according to authorities.
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Venegas, the owner of defunct Azteca Supply Co., a once a certified minority business enterprise and a women’s business enterprise, pleaded guilty to mail fraud. Her husband, Thomas Masen, former comptroller and secretary of National Concrete Pipe Co. in Franklin Park, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, the release said.
The judge ruled that Venegas collected nearly $9.7 million in fraudulent payments while acting as a minority contractor on runway and restroom projects at O’Hare International Airport for the city of Chicago between 2001 and 2008.
Venegas only admitted that she engaged in a $57,000 fraud scheme involving a landscaping project at a new Metra commuter rail station for the Village of Orland Park, the release said.
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She was sentenced to 26 months in prison and ordered to pay $482,850 in restitution. Her husband was sentenced to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay $450,000 in restitution.
Venegas and Masen were ordered to begin serving their sentences on Dec. 4 and Nov. 27, respectively. Venegas also was placed on home confinement during the first six months of two years’ supervised release.
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