On November 8, 2017, Tracy Tronco, a former transit coordinator and passenger operations specialist with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), was convicted in U.S. District Court, Tampa, Florida for her role in a conspiracy to commit Federal program theft. Tronco and her spouse, Alejo Tronco-Diaz, were both indicted on July 9, 2017.
Tronco and Tronco-Diaz had joint ownership in Ebenezer Church (Ebenezer) and Ministerio A Gran Voz De Trompeta Campus, Inc. (Ministerio). Ministerio received $250,000 in grants from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) via FDOT. The FTA grants were for programs that address transportation challenges faced by low income, disabled, and elderly individuals.
The indictment alleged that Tronco used her authority as an FDOT employee to bypass the normal award review process and award the funds directly to Ministerio and Ebenezer. She and Tronco-Diaz submitted checks to FDOT, indicating that they made payments for real property, services, and materials. However, the checks did not clear, and the property, services, and materials were never actually obtained. According to the indictment, Tronco and Tronco-Diaz also falsely represented to FDOT that they had used grant funds to acquire vehicles to provide transportation services, but the vehicles were for their personal use. In addition, they falsely represented that they had incurred expenses for the preventative maintenance and repair of the vehicles. Sentencing is currently set for January 24, 2018.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the FBI and FDOT-OIG, with assistance from FTA.