Contractor pleads guilty in three cases



GOSHEN – A building contractor from Wappingers Falls pled guilty last Friday in Orange County Court to scheme to defraud, repeated failure to file personal income tax returns, failure to obey a tax department subpoena, criminal possession of a forged instrument and bail jumping. The charges were contained in three separate indictments.
Fortunato “Ken” Febus, 51, admitted that between May 8, 2012 and August 26, 2015, he engaged in an ongoing scheme to defraud a number of people who hired him as a building contractor.
Victims included a church in Wawayanda, homeowners in the City of Middletown, two different homeowners in the City of Newburgh, and homeowners and business owners in Sullivan and Dutchess counties.
Febus admitted that he accepted payment for each of the jobs for which he was hired and then misappropriated it by spending the money on himself and repaying debts not connected with the jobs.
He also admitted to failing to file state personal income tax returns for 2012, 2013 and 2014, when he had a tax liability in each of those years, and not having complied with a tax department subpoena.
Febus also admitted to possessing a forged check from a purported building supplier to defraud one of his victims and he admitted that he failed to return to court as directed to answer the charged containing in the first indictment, resulting in the charge of bail jumping.
He will be sentenced in March.
“The defendant has repeatedly defrauded homeowners, and even a church,” said Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler. “Unscrupulous contactors give legitimate contractors an undeserved bad name. Hopefully, this case will deter other home improvement contractors who are tempted to defraud their customers.”