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Former Connecticut Official Pleads Guilty to Theft and Making False Statements Related to a Renovation Project at New Haven's Union Station

On July 5, Saverio Sereno, a former supervising rail officer at Connecticut-DOT (Conn-DOT) and Frederick F. Kelly, of Branford, CT, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in New Haven, CT to felony charges of theft involving federal programs and of making false statements, respectively. Sereno was Project Manager on a $300,000 construction contract for renovation of Conn-DOT offices in New Haven's Union Station. He admitted to scheming with another former Conn-DOT employee, Raymond F. Cox to arranging with the contractor to provide money and items of value (e.g., a desktop computer, refrigerators, and televisions) to several Conn-DOT employees.

Sereno was also involved in influencing the contractor to provide $3,000 to Kelly, who prepared fake bids on the project in order to circumvent the competitive bidding process. Kelly admitted lying to federal investigators by denying that he received anything of value in return for preparing the fake bids. Sereno resigned after being placed on administrative leave in October 2004. (Cox resigned in February 2005 and pled guilty to theft involving federal programs in June 2006.) The three men await sentencing in September 2006. This ongoing investigation is being conducted jointly with the FBI, IRS, and Conn-DOT.