Feds: UTC bilked by fake charitable donations
A 49-year-old North Carolina man bilked a charity matching gift program run by United Technologies Corporation to the tune of $367,000 by making fake donations to charity, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
The man, Steven Kent Strange, works for Collins Aerospace, a UTC subsidiary, according to U.S. Attorney John H. Durham.
Farmington-based UTC has a matching gift program through which the company matches an employee donation of 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.
Six years later, he started working for Collins Aerospace.
Prosecutors allege that between 2016 and June 2019, Strange submitted fraudulent records of donations purportedly made to the charity, including fake cashiers checks.
“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 reveal that a large portion of the foundation’s expenditures appears to be personal expenditures.”
Strange has been charged with wire fraud, which carries a maximum punishment of up to 20 years behind bars.
Durham said Strange appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge James E. Gates in Raleigh, North Carolina and was released pending his court appearance in the District of Connecticut.
This investigation is being conducted by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.