Wilton resident admits paying bribes for college contracts

A Connecticut entrepreneur admitted to making deals at colleges in New York and Massachusetts in exchange for a multi-year bribe, federal officials said.

Fairfield County resident Stephen Dinapoli, 42, of Wilton, director of a Connecticut environmental consulting firm in Norwalk, pleaded guilty in federal court in Springfield in Hampden County for his role in paying bribes to obtain consultancy contracts at educational institutions in Massachusetts and New York.

Specifically, federal prosecutors said Dinapoli pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and two counts of corruption regarding programs receiving federal funds after being indicted in August 2020.

Acting US attorney Nathaniel Mendell said Dinapoli is the director of Big East Environmental, a Connecticut-based environmental project management and consulting firm.

From 2015 to 2019, Dinapoli paid cash bribes to co-conspirator Floyd Young, who held positions involving facility maintenance at three institutions, including the American International College (AIC) in Springfield, Mass.

Specifically, Dinapoli paid Young in cash in face-to-face meetings to secure contracts for environmental consulting work at AIC, Cornell Tech and Cooper Union in New York.

Mendell said Young was indicted in a separate case and, in August 2020, pleaded guilty to directing construction, repair, maintenance and other work contracts for college institutions to privileged contractors, including Dinapoli, in exchange for bribes usually in the amount of 15 percent of the contract.

Dinapoli is expected to be sentenced in April 2022, when he faces up to 10 years in prison, three years on probation and a fine of $ 250,000.

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