David DeQuattro Pleads Not Guilty in Bribery Case
Architect David DeQuattro has plead not guilty to charges he bribed the tribal chairman of the Massachusetts Mashpee Wampanoag tribe for a casino project.
When it comes to doing business, bribes are a big no-no. While this is a well-known fact, it doesn’t stop people from trying to complete under the table moves to bring in business. In Massachusetts, a casino architect from Rhode Island, recently pled not guilty to charges that he used bribes to receive an almost $5 million contract for a Taunton casino.
David DeQuattro of Warwick has pled not guilty in a case involving the Massachusetts Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. The arraignment took place via video conference with Magistrate Marianne B. Bowler presiding. After the plea was given, DeQuattro was released on a secured bond of $25,000.
DeQuattro has been charged with accepting or paying bribes to a tribal government or agent as well as conspiring to commit bribery. The charges were handed down after and FBI investigation concluded involving the $1 billion Taunton casino project. Cedric Cromwell, the ex-chairman of the tribe, reportedly took thousands in bribes to put the architect on the project.
Cromwell pled not guilty as well and was released on bond. When Cromwell was in charge of the tribe, the Gaming Authority of the tribe signed contracts with Robinson Green Beretta Corp., which is the company where DeQuattro is the managing principal. The company was hired to construct the new casino.
From July 2014 to May 2017, DeQuattro has been accused of providing Cromwell with payments and benefits. The total value has been set at just under $58,000. In exchange for the money and benefits, Cromwell ensured a contract with signed with the architecture firm and the Gaming Authority, valued just under $5 million.
Including in the money given to Cromwell is $44,000 in personal checks. DeQuattro supposedly wrote the checks to CM International Consulting LLC, which is an entity owned by Cromwell’s friend. Authorities say that Cromwell told his friend to deposit the checks and then the money was used to buy treasurer’s checks that were payable to Cromwell or One Nation Development, which is a shell corporation operated by Cromwell.
Authorities also say that DeQuattro wrote a check to One Nation Development in the amount of $10,000. Investigators say that Cromwell used the money to pay personal expenses including paying his mistress.
Payments were used to provide Cromwell with luxuries as well. Authorities say that Cromwell texted DeQuattro to get him a nice hotel for his birthday weekend and that he was going to have a special guest with him.
In the process, DeQuattro was reimbursed by the architecture company for payments provided to Cromwell. Checks from the company were signed to DeQuattro by the president of the firm, who remains unnamed. This individual has not been charged at this time. Investigators say that the reimbursements were characterized as payroll expenses to falsely conceal what they were.
If DeQuattro is convicted of paying a bribe, on one charge, then he could be sent to prison for up to 10 years, with supervised released and a fine of $250,000. He does face another count so he may face even more jail time and penalties, it just depends on how the judge rules in this case.
So far, DeQuattro has not responded for any requests for comment from news outlets. However, his attorney, Timothy Flaherty, has said that his client denies the allegations against him.
The casino project in Taunton continues to face issues, along with this recent development. There are legal and regulatory issues at play that are causing a long delay in the project actually coming to life. The tribe has sought help from Congress to get the project back on track.