Alexandria man pleads guilty to playing part in bribery scheme

Alexandria man pleads guilty to playing part in bribery scheme
An Alexandria contractor has pleaded guilty to taking part in a bribery scheme orchestrated by two VDOT officials (Courtesy Photo)

By Alexa Epitropoulos | 

An Alexandria man pleaded guilty on Monday to playing a role in a bribery scheme orchestrated by two Virginia Department of Transportation officials.

Private contractor Ronaldo Pineda Moran, 46, of Alexandria, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud. He faces sentencing on Feb. 9, 2018.

A press release from U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia said Moran was working with VDOT officials Anthony Willie and Kenneth Duane Adams, who were supervisors at the government organization’s Burke Area Headquarters. Willie and Adams secretly used their officials positions to solicit and accept cash bribes in exchange for green lighting favorable official acts, such as awarding snow removal contracts to local trucking companies during winter snowstorms in Northern Virginia.

Willie and Adams negotiated bribe agreements with many owners and operators of trucking and snow removal companies who were looking for snow removal work from VDOT’s Burke headquarters, including Moran, Shaheen Sariri and John Williamson, according to the press release. The agreements with each contractor stated company owners would provide a percentage or a flat rate of their hourly contracts as bribes in the form of cash payments to the two VDOT officials. 

The news release said, beginning in the 2012 and 2013 snow season to the 2016 and 2017 snow season, Willie and Adams would meet snow plow contractors at local restaurants, grocery stores and parking lots in Burke and Fairfax, receiving approximately $440,000 in cash bribes in the process. Adams also conspired with Elmer Antonio Mejia by negotiating a bribery agreement where Mejia would subcontract his snow removal work to an Adams’ nominee-owned company called Supreme Landscaping. Mejia paid Adams $160,000, frequently disguising payments as pay for snow removal work that was allegedly performed by Adams’ nominee-owned company, according to the release. 

Moran faces up to 20 years for his charges.