Florida Department of Transportation Consultant Convicted for Accepting a Bribe
On February 13, 2013, in U.S. District Court, Miami, Florida, Ronald Capobianco, Jr., consultant for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with programs receiving federal funds.
Capobianco worked as a construction engineering and inspection consultant at an engineering company, which specialized in the transportation industry. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) contracted with this company 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. Capobianco agreed to accept a bribe from a subcontractor working on this project. In May 2009, an agent of the subcontractor 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 for the installation of the video detection devices, thus enabling the subcontractor to make a significant profit. The subcontractor's estimate was approved and subsequently paid by the State of Florida. In May 2009, Capobianco met with an agent of the subcontractor and was paid $4,000 for his assistance on this project.
This investigation was conducted jointly with FBI and IRS/CID.