U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Florida
(305) 961-9001
September 24, 2014

Lighting Contractor Charged with Agreeing to Bribe Broward Public Official

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce the filing of a one-count information charging William E. Pino, 60, of Miami, with offering and agreeing to give something of value to a public official with the intent to influence or reward said public official in connection with a transaction or series of transactions and thereby committing bribery in programs receiving federal funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666. Pino will make his initial appearance on September 30, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt in Fort Lauderdale.

According to the information, Pino was involved in a number of companies in South Florida that were in the business of installing, repairing and maintaining street lights, traffic signals, and traffic systems and the sale of products needed to make such installations and repairs, such as light poles. From in or about April 2012 through on or about June 27, 2012, Pino met with a confidential informant who advised Pino that there were upcoming public works projects in Broward County for traffic systems, traffic signs, street lights and light poles. The informant advised Pino that the informant had a contact in Broward County, but that Pino would need to “take care of” the public official. Pino agreed to “take care of” the public official.

On or about May 24, 2012, Pino was told that the public official had a purchase order for $100,000 in light poles for Pino’s company. Pino agreed to pay the public official $5,000 in exchange for the purchase order containing $100,000 of his light poles. On or about June 27, 2012, there was a meeting between Pino, the informant, and the public official in Plantation. Pino was handed a purchase order for his company to provide Broward County with $100,000 worth of light poles and Pino then handed the public official an envelope containing $5,000 in U.S. currency.

If convicted, Pino faces a statutory maximum term of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey N. Kaplan.

An information is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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