Former MassDOT Employee Pleads Guilty, Sentenced in Connection with Procurement Fraud Scheme
WORCESTER – A former employee of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) Worcester Office has pleaded guilty to procurement fraud charges and been sentenced in connection with hiding his financial interest in lucrative state snow and ice removal contracts, Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office announced today.
Today, in Worcester Superior Court, Anthony Gleason, age 39, of Worcester, pleaded guilty to charges of Procurement Fraud (3 counts). After the plea was entered, Judge William Sullivan sentenced Gleason to one year in the House of Correction, suspended for a probationary period of two years.
“This defendant hid his financial interest in lucrative state contracts which ultimately benefitted him personally at the expense of transparency and fairness in the process,” AG Healey said. “Maintaining the integrity of this process is important and we want to make sure that state contracts are awarded based on merit and are not influenced by personal financial interests.”
Also today in Worcester Superior Court, Anthony Gleason’s brother, Dean Gleason, age 45, of West Boylston, admitted to sufficient facts on criminal Conflict of Interest charges (3 counts). Judge Sullivan continued Dean Gleason’s case without a finding for a period of 18 months.
Quang T. Do, age 46, of Worcester, also admitted to sufficient facts on the charges of Procurement Fraud (3 counts). Judge Sullivan continued Do’s case without a finding for a period of 12 months.
In November 2011, a Statewide Grand Jury returned indictments against Thomas Waruzila, the formerdirector of the MassDOT’s District 3 Office in Worcester, Anthony Gleason, a MassDOT Civil Engineer for District 3, his brother, Dean Gleason, the MassDOT Snow and Ice Engineer for District 3, and Quang T. Do, a family friend.
The AG’s Public Integrity Division began an investigation in the fall of 2010. That investigation revealed that together, Waruzila, Anthony Gleason, and Do engaged in a scheme to buy snow and ice removal equipment in Do’s name, which Dean Gleason then awarded contracts to using his position.
MassDOT contracts with outside vendors who own the appropriate equipment to clear the roads. When a storm occurs, the equipment is dispatched to a location called a “pit,” a MassDOT location where the salt, sand, and other materials needed to clear the roads are stored and where the trucks come for refills.
Investigators discovered that prior to the start of the winter season in 2009, the district designated one of the pits located in Littleton as full-time. That action opened a new slot for a privately contracted front-end loader. Anthony Gleason and Waruzila obtained a front-end loader in Do’s name to hide their financial interest and for the purpose of receiving the new contract.
During the relevant time period, Dean Gleason, as the Snow and Ice Engineer for the Worcester region, had primary responsibility for selecting snow removal assignments. In September 2009, Dean Gleason and Waruzila awarded Do the assignment for a front-end loader in the newly opened Littleton pit despite the timely submission of a more senior MassDOT contractor.
Authorities later discovered that Anthony Gleason and Waruzila were involved in obtaining another truck and calcium tank also in Do’s name. Dean Gleason again awarded that equipment a contract in District 3 for snow and ice removal during the winter season of 2010-2011.
In June 2014, a Worcester Superior Court jury found Waruzila guilty on the criminal charges of Conflict of Interest (2 counts) and Procurement Fraud (3 counts). He was sentenced to two years in the House of Correction, suspended for three years, with GPS monitoring for the first year.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jim O’Brien, Chief of the AG’s Public Integrity Division and Assistant Attorney General Erika Anderson, also of the AG’s Public Integrity Division, with assistance from Victim Advocate Megan Murphy. It was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, Financial Investigator Bryan Freitas and the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab. Assistance was also provided by MassDOT.