Spouse of Former Florida DOT Employee Sentenced to Prison for Conspiracy To Commit Federal Program Theft
On August 15, 2018, Alejo Tronco-Diaz, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Tampa, Florida, to 12 months and 1 day in Federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to commit Federal program theft. His spouse, Tracy Tronco, former transit coordinator and passenger operations specialist for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), was sentenced on August 7, 2018. Both sentences included a joint restitution of $295,891.65 and the forfeiture of property with a maximum value of $373,602.42. Tronco-Diaz and Tronco were 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). These organizations received $250,000 in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants, awarded via FDOT, for programs that provide transportation to low income, disabled, and elderly individuals.
In November 2017, Tronco pleaded guilty to using her authority as an FDOT employee to bypass the grant-award process to receive grants for 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 Tronco and Tronco-Diaz never actually procured the property, services, and materials. Tronco and Tronco-Diaz also falsely represented to FDOT that they used grant funds to acquire vehicles to provide transportation services, but the vehicles were for their personal use. They also falsely represented that they had incurred expenses for the vehicles’ preventative maintenance and repair.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the FBI and FDOT-OIG, and with FTA’s assistance.