August 30, 2016
PennDOT Permits Manager Sentenced for Fraud, Corruption, and Bribery
On August 30, 2016, Alexander Morrone, former Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) permits manager, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, Norristown. Morrone was sentenced to 60 months’ probation and 80 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. His sentence was related to a widespread $1.2 million fraud, corruption, and bribery scheme that affected 27 federally funded construction and maintenance contracts in Pennsylvania. Morrone admitted he regularly received kickbacks from project inspectors while requiring them to falsify time, attendance, and payroll records to generate illicit cash flow.
In April 2015, the Pennsylvania Attorney General (PAAG) filed a State criminal complaint charging Christopher Czop, president of Czop Specter, Inc., a consultant inspection firm, with illegally securing more than $1 million in profits by rigging contract bids and profiting from his employees who fraudulently inflated billable hours and mileage claims to PennDOT. In December 2014, the PAAG’s office filed additional criminal complaints related to charges of fraud, corruption, and bribery against 10 individuals, including Morrone. Those complaints followed criminal charges filed 4 months earlier against PennDOT contractor Thanh Nguyen, who allegedly stole $3.6 million through a false invoice and bribery scheme.
This investigation is being worked jointly with the PAAG’s office.