Michigan Airport Employee and Contractor Charged in Bribery Scheme
On May 22, 2018, a superseding information in U.S. District Court, Detroit, Michigan, charged William Pritula, owner of Pritula & Sons Construction, LLC, Romulus, Michigan, with bribery.
On May 23, 2018, a second superseding indictment charged James Warner, a department manager in utilities and infrastructure at the Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA). Warner was charged with conspiracy, theft from a federally funded program, Federal program bribery, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. The Federal Aviation Administration provides funding for airport improvement projects to WCAA, which operates and manages the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW).
From 2010 through 2014, Warner’s duties included field inspection and supervision of maintenance and repair projects at DTW. He also had authority to recommend and approve the continuation of maintenance and repair contracts at WCAA. From 2003 through 2014, Pritula held contracts for pavement repair and replacement and similar work at DTW. With Pritula’s knowledge and permission, Warner created and submitted fraudulent invoices on behalf of Pritula’s company that indicated work had been performed at DTW. In return, Pritula provided kickbacks to Warner. From September 2010 through October 2014, Pritula’s company received over $18 million from WCAA, and Warner received over $5 million of that amount.
The superseding information and the superseding indictment included individual money judgements of $5,474,132.48 for both Pritula and Warner.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the FBI’s assistance.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.