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Ex-worker gets three years in prison for road builder's fraud

TAMPA — A former employee of Cone Constructors received a three-year federal prison sentence Tuesday for her part in the road building company's bankruptcy fraud.

Patricia Rankin Grable, 53, must also help co-defendant Michael Cone pay more than $1.77-million in restitution.

Grable pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud and wire fraud affecting a financial institution. She admitted passing off fake and backdated documents as legitimate during Cone Constructors bankruptcy.

Once one of the state's largest road builders, Cone Constructors served as general contractor for parts of the Suncoast Parkway.

Grable's sentencing came on the heels of the sentencing of Michael Cone, 51, former head of Cone Constructors, to 15 years in federal prison on Friday. U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew ordered that he serve his federal sentence after five years in state prison for defrauding the state Department of Transportation.

Cone's wife, Joanne Cone, also has pleaded guilty to participating in the bankruptcy fraud and will be sentenced in June.

Prosecutors accused Michael Cone of orchestrating a scheme to hide his company's assets after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2000. He resurrected a defunct company that he claimed his wife operated and sold Cone Constructors equipment to her, then leased it back.

Ex-worker gets three years in prison for road builder's fraud 05/06/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2008 4:13pm]
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