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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 16, 2017

VDOT Officials Plead Guilty to $10.3 Million Bribe Scheme

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two Virginia Department of Transportation officials and three private contractors have pleaded guilty to their involvement in a bribery scheme involving the awarding of over $10.3 million in snow removal contracts over the course of five years.

According to court documents, Anthony Willie and Kenneth Duane Adams were VDOT supervisors at the Burke Area Headquarters (AHQ) and secretly used their official positions to enrich themselves by soliciting and accepting cash bribes in exchange for various favorable official acts, such as awarding lucrative snow removal work to local trucking companies during winter snow storms in the northern Virginia area.

According to court documents, Willie and Adams negotiated bribe agreements with several owners and operators of trucking and snow removal companies seeking snow removal work from the VDOT Burke AHQ, including Rolando Pineda Moran, Shaheen Sariri, and John Williamson. At their core, each agreement stated that the company owners would provide a percentage or a flat rate of their hourly contracts as bribes in the form of cash payments to Willie and Adams, in exchange for being awarded snow removal work and having Willie and Adams sign off on their VDOT invoices. Beginning in the 2012‑2013 snow season and continuing through the 2016‑2017 snow season, Willie and Adams would often meet the snow plow contractors at local restaurants, grocery stores, and parking lots in Burke and Fairfax and received approximately $440,000 in cash bribes.

According to court documents, from 2011 through 2016, Adams also conspired with Elmer Antonio Mejia by negotiating an unlawful bribery agreement whereby Mejia would sub-contract snow removal work out to Adams’ nominee-owned company, Supreme Landscaping. During this period, Mejia paid Adams approximately $160,000, frequently disguising the payments as pay for snow removal work allegedly performed by Adams’ nominee-owned company.

Additionally, Adams also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. According to court records, while executing a search warrant in November 2015, law enforcement recovered approximately 129 grams of cocaine and related drug paraphernalia at Adams’ residence. Adams also admitted to previously distributing cocaine to others, including several of his colleagues at VDOT, and to obtaining cocaine from a relative of one of his VDOT co-workers.

Name

Age, Hometown

Pleaded Guilty to

Sentencing Date and Max Penalty

Anthony Willie

55, Culpeper

Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Mail and Wire Fraud

Feb. 16, 2018; 60 years

Kenneth Duane Adams

42, Fairfax

Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Mail and Wire Fraud; Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

Feb. 9, 2018; 100 years

Rolando Pineda Moran

46, Alexandria

Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Mail Fraud

Feb. 9, 2018; 20 years

Elmer Mejia

50, Aldie

Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Mail Fraud

Feb. 9, 2018; 20 years

John Williamson

51, Springfield

Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Wire Fraud

Feb. 2, 2018; 20 years

 

Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Willie pleaded guilty today, Pineda Moran and Mejia on Monday, Adams on Tuesday, and Williamson on Wednesday.

A sixth indicted defendant in this case, Shaheen “Shane” Sariri, 31, of Fairfax, is scheduled for trial on Jan. 29, 2018.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly R. Pedersen and Samantha P. Bateman are prosecuting the case.

This case involved a joint investigation by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Virginia State Police, and Fairfax County Police Department. Additional assistance was provided by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Office of Assurance and Compliance.

Any person who believes they may have information regarding public corruption or fraud in the northern Virginia area is encouraged to call the FBI’s Northern Virginia Public Corruption Hotline at 703-686-6225 or e-mail tips to NOVAPC@ic.fbi.gov.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-cr-188.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Contact: 
CONTACT: Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated November 16, 2017