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Man Charged With Defrauding CT-Based Company's Charity Matching Gift Program

A man has been charged with defrauding a Connecticut-based company.
A man has been charged with defrauding a Connecticut-based company. Photo Credit:

A 49-year-old man is facing a federal charge after allegedly defrauding his Connecticut employer’s charity matching gift program.

Steven Kent Strange, 49, of Bailey, North Carolina, was arrested on Wednesday, Sept. 18 on a federal complaint that is charging him with wire fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

It is alleged that Strange, who is employed by Collins Aerospace, which is a business unit of United Technologies Corporation (UTC), based in Farmington. Strange began working for Collins Aerospace in 2014.

U.S. Attorney John Durham said the company has a “Matching Gift Program,” through which the company will match an employee donation, up to $25,000 annually, to a charity.  In 2008, Strange established the Housing Development Foundation of North Carolina, Inc., and listed his residence at the principal office for the charity.

Durham said that the complaint alleges that between 2016 and June this year, Strange defrauded his company’s program by submitting fraudulent records of donations, including fabricated cashiers checks, he and coworkers purportedly made to the Housing Development Foundation.

Between 2017 and 2019, UTC transferred approximately $367,000 in matching funds to the Housing Development Foundation of North Carolina. Durham said a review of the foundation’s bank records found that a large portion of the foundation’s expenditures appears to be personal expenditures.

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