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Former ConnDOT Manager Fined in New Haven Union Station Fraud Case

On December 13, Saverio Sereno, of Coventry, Connecticut, former Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) Project Manager for the New Haven Union Station renovation project, was sentenced to three years probation, ordered to pay $6,404 in restitution and a $2,000 fine in U.S. District Court in New Haven, for his July guilty plea to charges of theft of federal programs. The investigation disclosed that Sereno, along with his supervisor, Raymond Cox, instructed the owner of Merritt Builders, a contractor doing business with ConnDOT, to purchase big-screen televisions, refrigerators, and other items for the benefit of ConnDOT employees with the understanding that the expenses would be billed to ConnDOT under the renovation project. Merritt Builders was awarded the $300,000 project to renovate New Haven Union Station in 2003. Sereno also directed the company's owner to pay $3,000 in cash to a contractor to prepare fake bids for the renovation project. Sereno was placed on administrative leave and subsequently resigned. The results of this investigation have been furnished to FTA for suspension/debarment consideration. OIG investigated this case with the FBI and the IRS' Criminal Investigations Division, with assistance from ConnDOT.