Ex-VDOT superintendent sentenced in $11M bribe scheme

WASHINGTON — A former Virginia Department of Transportation superintendent was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday for his part in a $11 million snowplowing kickback scheme.

Anthony Willie of Culpeper, Virginia had been the superintendent of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Burke Area headquarters. He and another VDOT supervisor took cash bribes in exchange for about $11 million in snow removal contracts and other benefits, court documents show.

Willie, 55, and Kenneth Adams of Fairfax got either a percentage or a flat rate from several snowplow contractors between 2012 and 2017 before they were caught.

Willie and Adams received about $440,000 in cash through handoffs at restaurants, grocery stores or parking lots in the Burke area, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said.

In addition, some of the work was illegally subcontracted to a company Adams controlled to disguise an additional $160,000 in payments.

Adams separately pleaded guilty to cocaine distribution charges after 129 grams of the drug were discovered during a 2015 search.

He admitted distributing the cocaine to several VDOT colleagues.

Adams has been sentenced to more than five years on fraud and cocaine counts.

Four others, who owned the trucking companies, have also pleaded guilty in the case.

Three received sentences of 90 days to six months.

One more person, Shaheen Sariri of Fairfax, is scheduled to be sentenced March 9 for the same charge, conspiracy to commit honest services mail fraud.

The maximum sentence allowed under federal law is 20 years.

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