Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Road builder's wife sentenced

TAMPA — The defense attorney, the federal prosecutor, even the judge agreed: If not for her crooked husband, Joanne Cone never would have been in this mess.

But the wife of imprisoned road builder Michael Cone still was sentenced to prison Friday for her role in a bankruptcy fraud.

U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew sentenced Joanne Cone to one year and one day in prison, offering a shorter term than sentencing guidelines recommended but rejecting pleas from her attorney and family members to spare her jail time altogether.

She pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud.

Cone, 52, begged for leniency Friday, saying she had been manipulated by her husband and was not strong enough to stand up to him when he dragged her into the conspiracy.

"I wanted to trust," she told Bucklew. "I wanted to believe. But ultimately I should have walked away."

Bucklew said she sympathized — but still had to send her to prison.

"Everyone is responsible for themselves," she said. "I don't buy the fact that you may have been 'blinded and deluded' by love," as her defense attorney had argued.

Cone's husband, the 51-year-old former head of Cone Constructors, is serving a five-year state sentence for defrauding the state Department of Transportation and was sentenced last month to an additional 15 years in prison on federal charges of bankruptcy fraud.

A former employee, Patricia Rankin Grable, received a three-year sentence last month. All three defendants were ordered to pay millions in restitution.

Before its fall from grace, Cone Constructors was among the largest road builders in the state and served as the general contractor for parts of the Suncoast Parkway.

Thomas Kaplan can be reached at (813) 226-3404 or

Road builder's wife sentenced 06/20/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 1:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards


    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 


  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say


    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.