The Plunder Dome Tapes: Part Three, Corrente And A Bribe
Tonight, we continue our exclusive investigation into the Plunder Dome tapes. Eyewitness News obtained *all* the secretly recorded FBI tapes played in the trial of former Providence Mayor Vincent Buddy Cianci.
Tonight- the tapes focus on Frank Corrente- the mayor's top aide. Addition to being the Mayor's top aide, Corrente was the treasurer of Cianci's campaign committee. And prosecutors say he was also the Mayor's partner in crime.
On the day FBI agents raided city hall, Frank Corrente left the building without comment. He knew he had been a target of the federal probe, but he didn't know he had been caught on tape taking bribes.
A one thousand-dollar bribe was delivered on December 3rd, 1998, in Corrente's office by FBI operative- businessman Antonio Freitas.
The bribe was in exchange for Corrente's help in trying to get a company that had school department contracts lease a building that Freitas owned. The second $1,000 bribe was delivered about a month later when the lease seemed a done deal. Freitas picked up an envelope, counted the $100 dollar bills and placed it back on the desk.
Corrente quickly grabbed the envelope and slid it into a desk drawer.
Freitas had already had meetings with tax assessment review board Chairman Joseph Pannone in paving the way for meetings with Corrente.
Freitas, who runs JKL engineering, was angry that the city had leased a building from Edward Voccola. Voccola had been charged with laundering money and paying bribes. The charges were dropped during the Plunder Dome trial, but when Freitas was working undercover during the investigation he wanted Cianci and Corrente to know he was ready to pay substantial kickbacks to get a city lease.
Cianci denied ever taking any bribe money from anyone, and Cianci was not convicted of taking bribes. He was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, which means the jury believed he knew just about everything that was going on and that he was part of the criminal enterprise.