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Former FDOT employee and husband accused of theft of federal funds

TAMPA — A former employee of the Florida Department of Transportation was indicted this week, along with her husband, on charges that they schemed to steal more than $300,000 in federal grant money.

Tracy Dean Tronco, 51, was a transit coordinator and passenger operations specialist in FDOT's Tampa district. She was responsible for administering transportation projects and funds, including grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

She did not tell her employer that she was married to Alejo Tronco-Diaz, 50, who had applied to receive funds for a Hillsborough County church known as Ministerio A Gran Voz De Trompeta Campus Inc., according to federal prosecutors. The church was said to have provided transportation services to the elderly, disabled and unemployed.

Between 2010 and 2015, Tronco helped secure more than $370,000 in federal funds for Ministerio and another church with which it partnered, authorities said. The money was supposed to go toward renovation of a commercial property, job and transportation services and the purchase and maintenance of three vehicles. Instead, prosecutors said, it went into the pockets of Tronco, her husband, and other unnamed conspirators.

Tronco resigned from FDOT in April 2016.

She and her husband, who live in Lakeland, face charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, and federal program theft.

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