September 20, 2017
FTA Suspends Philadelphia Business Owners and Companies for Role in Attempted Bribery Scheme related to DBE Program
On September 20, 2017, FTA suspended Abboud Wali, Nazik Modawi, Safe Rides, LLC, and Rides, Inc. from participating in federally funded procurement and nonprocurement activities. The suspension is based on an August 22, 2017, indictment filed in U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which charged Wali and Modawi with conspiracy and bribery for an attempted scheme to bribe a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) specialist.
The indictment alleged that between November 2016 and December 2016, Modawi gave a SEPTA specialist an envelope containing $5,000 in cash for the purpose of expediting Safe Rides’ DBE application. Furthermore, the indictment alleged that on a separate occasion, Wali and Modawi met with an undercover agent posing as a SEPTA employee and provided the agent with an envelope containing $5,000 in cash, again to expedite their DBE application.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the FBI and SEPTA-OIG.