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FTA Debars New Jersey Companies and Officials for Attempted Bribery Scheme

On February 20, 2018, FTA debarred Abboud Wali, Nazik Modawi, Safe Rides, LLC., and Rides, Inc., from Federal contracting and other procurement and nonprocurement transactions for a period of 3 years.
Wali and Modawi pleaded guilty on October 16, 2017, and October 20, 2017, respectively, in U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to conspiracy and bribery charges for their roles in an attempted scheme to bribe a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) specialist at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).
They admitted that between November 2016 and December 2016 they conspired to corruptly give and offer a thing of value to a SEPTA agent to influence and reward the agent in connection with a business transaction. The investigation revealed that Modawi gave the DBE specialist an envelope containing $5,000 in cash for the purpose of expediting the DBE application process for Safe Rides, LLC. Furthermore, both Modawi and Wali provided a second envelope containing $5,000 in cash to a person they believed to be a DBE specialist, again to expedite the DBE application process. The investigation was based on a referral from SEPTA, one of the five certifying agencies of the Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program.
This investigation is being worked jointly with the FBI and SEPTA-OIG.
Note: A suspension or debarment frequently covers a specific period of time. Please consult the System for Award Management to determine whether a company or individual is currently suspended or debarred.