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Southport Man, 73, Gets Prison Time After Stealing $500K From Rich Friend

Gavel Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — A 73-year-old Southport man will serve five months in federal prison for failing to pay taxes on $500,000 he stole from a lifelong friend and wealthy benefactor.

Orval Furlong was also sentenced Wednesday to a year of supervised release and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven, said U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly of Connecticut.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Furlong was a lifelong friend of a wealthy benefactor and, over the years, the benefactor paid some of Furlong's debts.

In the last years of the benefactor’s life, Furlong hired home health aides to care for the benefactor, who in turn provided Furlong with a stipend of $8,000 to $10,000 per month.

The benefactor also employed the services of an attorney who acted as the benefactor’s power of attorney and oversaw the benefactor’s finances. Furlong provided the attorney with a detailed itemization of the hours worked by the home health aides, the hourly rates for their services, and the total funds needed to pay them. The attorney then issued Furlong checks from the benefactor to pay the health aides.

From at least 2009 to 2011, Furlong routinely inflated the hourly rate paid to the home health aides. He then paid the home health aides in cash or by check in an amount significantly lower than he had represented to the attorney. Furlong kept the difference and used the money to cover his personal expenditures.

On Feb. 22, Furlong pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion and admitted that he failed to report more than $500,000 in stolen income on his 2009 through 2011 federal tax returns.

Furlong has since paid $105,693 in back taxes.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.

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