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Former Miami Aviation Director Gets 4 Years in Contract Bribery Scheme

Ricardo Mendez, former assistant aviation director for the Miami–Dade County Aviation Department, was sentenced to 4 years in prison by a U.S. District Court judge in Miami, FL, for his role in awarding no–bid contracts in exchange for bribes at Miami International Airport (MIA) and failure to pay Federal taxes on the illegally gained income. His wife, Mirta Mendez, received 5 months in prison and 5 months of house arrest for her role in the scheme. Ricardo Mendez awarded one contract to Engineering & Construction Services, Orlando, FL, to provide computer simulations of the MIA expansion. Owner Marilyn J. Parker was sentenced to 3 years’ probation after pleading guilty in 2001 to paying $145,000 in bribes for her computer services. The other contract involved cleaning contaminated soil at the airport. Erwin Perkinson admitted paying Mendez $81,500 to win part of this job and was sentenced to a year in prison. The investigation was conducted jointly by OIG, IRS, and the Miami–Dade Police Department.