DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- A Wappingers Falls building contractor who admitted he was guilty of defrauding homeowners and businesses received a combined sentence of two and two-thirds to seven years in prison on Tuesday.
Fortunato “Ken” Febus, 51, of Wappingers Falls, was sentenced by Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown, for defrauding his victims, which included a church, and the New York State Tax Department of more than $195,479, according to Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler.
Febus pleaded guilty in January to first-degree scheme to defraud, repeated failure to file personal income tax returns, criminal possession of a forged instrument, bail jumping, felonies, and failure to obey a tax department subpoena, Hoovler said.
At the time of his guilty pleas, Febus admitted that between May 8, 2012, and August 26, 2015, he engaged in an ongoing scheme to defraud a number of victims who had hired him as a building contractor, the DA's Office said.
The victims included a church in the Town of Wawayanda, homeowners in Newburgh and Middletown, and homeowners and business owners in Sullivan and Dutchess counties, he added.
“Shady contractors give every legitimate contractor a bad name,” said Hoovler, “Aside from the financial damage that they do to the customers that they defraud, and to all of us when they don’t pay their taxes. I have made it a priority of my office to prosecute unscrupulous contractors, so that we can, hopefully, deter those contractors from ripping off unsuspecting customers."
In addition to the fraud, Febus also admitted he did not file state Personal Income Tax returns for 2012, 2013 and 2014, and he failed to comply with a tax department subpoena, Hoovler added.
He also admitted possessing a forged check from a purported building supplier to defraud one of his victims and that he had failed to return to court in his first indictment.