Florida Department of Transportation Consultant Sentenced for Accepting a Bribe
On May 7, 2013, Ron Capobianco, Jr., a construction engineering and inspection consultant at Metric Engineering, Inc. (Metric), a firm that contracted with and provided services to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Miami, Florida, for conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with programs receiving federal funds. Capobianco received a sentence of 12 months and one day imprisonment, one year of supervised release, 200 hours of community service, and a $100 Special Assessment fee. He also made a forfeiture payment of $4,000.
FDOT contracted with Metric, which specializes in the transportation industry, to provide services, including designing, inspecting, and troubleshooting the construction of roads, signs, and traffic signals. Because of his position and expertise, Capobianco was consulted as an FDOT expert on certain aspects of signalization and lighting construction, including the use of video detection cameras for traffic signalization and control.
In 2009, FDOT began a road construction project along Highway 1 in the Florida Keys (the Marathon Key project, partially funded with federal funds) which was designed to improve traffic flow. In May 2009, an agent of a subcontractor working on this project offered Capobianco money if the subcontractor received at least $25,000 for the installation of the video detection equipment. Capobianco agreed to the subcontractor's $25,000 estimate, thus enabling the subcontractor to make a significant profit. The subcontractor's estimate was approved and subsequently paid by the State of Florida. Capobianco then met with the subcontractor’s agent and was paid $4,000 for his assistance.
We are conducting this investigation jointly with FBI and IRS/CID.