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Press Release

Former State Official Indicted, Arrested for School Construction Extortion and Bribery Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut
Three state contractors admit roles in related bribery conspiracies

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Robert Fuller, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the FBI, and Harry T. Chavis, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned a 22-count indictment charging KONSTANTINOS “KOSTA” DIAMANTIS, 67, of Farmington, with extortion, bribery, conspiracy, and false statement offenses related to his conduct as director of Connecticut’s Office of School Constructions Grants and Review (“OSCGR”), the state agency responsible for the grant administration of all Connecticut public school construction projects seeking state funding.

The indictment (link below) was returned yesterday, and Diamantis was arrested this morning.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas O. Farrish in Hartford, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was released on a $500,000 bond.

In addition, three related cases were unsealed today.  On May 13, 2024, SALVATORE MONARCA, 53, of Durham, the president and director of Acranom Masonry, Inc. (“Acranom”), a masonry contractor located in Middlefield, and JOHN F. DUFFY, 63, of Westerly, Rhode Island, vice president of Acranom, each pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe Diamantis to obtain masonry contracts on school construction projects.  On May 14, 2024, ANTONIETTA ROY, 41, of Plainfield, the owner of Construction Advocacy Professionals, LLC (“CAP”), pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe Diamantis to obtain business as a construction administrator on school construction projects.

The indictment alleges that Diamantis demanded and received bribes from Acranom, Monarca, and Duffy in connection with multi-million dollar school construction projects Diamantis supervised as director of OSCGR.  In exchange for those bribes, and promises to pay bribes, Diamantis used his official position to assist Acranom to obtain and maintain contracts to perform masonry work for state-funded school construction project.  Diamantis helped Acranom resolve a dispute on phase two of Hartford’s Weaver High School renovation project around 2018; obtain the contract for masonry work on phase four of the same project; and, in and around 2019, obtain the masonry contract for the emergency rebuild of the Birch Grove Primary School in Tolland.  In numerous electronic messages recounted in the indictment, Diamantis, Duffy, and Monarca discussed their plan to pay Diamantis in exchange for his official action on behalf of Acranom.  Diamantis also demanded payment in exchange for his actions, and threatened to remove Acranom as mason on the Weaver and Birch Grove projects if he was not paid.  The indictment also alleges incidents where cash was provided by Acranom to Diamantis.

The indictment further alleges that Diamantis demanded and received bribes from Roy in her capacity as the owner of CAP.  In exchange for those bribes, Diamantis used his official position to assist CAP in obtaining contracts to provide construction administrator and related services on state school construction projects, including a 2019 contract on the Birch Grove project in Tolland, a 2019 contract to assist New Britain in obtaining state reimbursement for school construction projects, and a 2019 contract related to the renovation project at Hartford’s Bulkeley High School.  Roy paid Diamantis via cash and check, and hired Diamantis’s daughter at an inflated salary.

The indictment also alleges that on three different occasions in 2023, Diamantis made multiple false statements to FBI agents investigating this matter.

“Constructing and renovating schools is an important, and very expensive, endeavor for our state and municipalities, and corruption within a program that manages and funds them adds cost, seriously erodes trust in government, and raises questions about work quality and the potential harms to students and educators in the classroom,” said U.S. Attorney Avery.  “This indictment contains allegations of a civil servant who committed multiple felonies, including extorting contractors, demanding and receiving bribes, and repeatedly lying to federal agents investigating his conduct.  This kind of criminal behavior can never be tolerated, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our investigative partners will work to uncover it, no matter how long it takes.  I thank the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation for their diligent work here.  This investigation is ongoing.”

“The depth of deception, collusion, and abuse of power by the defendants in this case, as alleged, is glaring,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Fuller.  “The willingness to manipulate contracts and blatantly steal by abusing a position of public trust is intolerable.  We have a long history in this state of rooting out corruption and delivering white collar criminals to justice.  Today’s arrest further indicates that we are continuing to protect taxpayers from criminal actors.”

“The indictment and arrest of Konstantinos Diamantis demonstrates IRS-CI’s commitment to halting public corruption at the source,” said IRS CI Special Agent in Charge Harry T. Chavis Jr.  “Pay to play schemes, such as the alleged scheme orchestrated by Diamantis, Monarca, Duffy, and Roy are not only detrimental to the business community but also the community at large.  Unjustly bribing public officials for municipal contracts circumvents the bidding process which can result in subpar construction, delays, and costly overages that directly impact the American taxpayers.”

The indictment charges Diamantis with two counts of extortion and two counts of conspiracy to commit extortion, offenses that carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count; two counts of bribery, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years of each count; two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on each count; and 14 counts of making false statements, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on each count.

U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Monarca and Roy have agreed to cooperate with the government’s prosecution of this matter.

This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan N. Francis and David E. Novick.


Updated May 16, 2024

Financial Fraud
Public Corruption