Chesterton Tribune



Former PCSP deputy sentenced to 15 months for wire fraud

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A former Porter County Sheriff’s Police deputy has been sentenced to more than a year in federal prison, after pleading guilty to wire fraud in connection with the embezzlement of moneys from his Fraternal Order of Police lodge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana said.

Lawrence, W. LaFlower, 43, of Valparaiso, was sentenced on Monday to 15 months in prison and two years of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

LaFlower was also ordered a money judgment forfeiture in the amount of $187,698.52.

“According to court documents, between April 2013 and April 2018, LaFlower used his position as the treasurer of the Fraternal Order of Police Ewalt Jahnz Lodge No 165 to embezzle over $180,000 from its investment and bank accounts,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “The FOP is a fraternal organization in Porter County, Ind., whose mission is to improve working conditions for law enforcement officers and serve the public by raising money for scholarships and other programs.”

“Mr. LaFlower’s immediate guilty plea and sentence reflect the zero tolerance this District has for public officials who abuse their positions for personal financial gain,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch said. “My Office, with our law enforcement partners, will continue to pursue those who corrupt their office for self-serving motives.”

In a letter to U.S. Judge Philip Simon, LaFlower expressed his deep remorse on Monday, blamed a gambling addiction which “overpowered all my values and my character,” and pledged to make full restitution to the FOP, beginning with an immediate $22,000 payment.

“I have lost the career that I loved and I am reminded every day of those I betrayed with my actions, which is a harsh reminder of the life that I want to leave in the past,” LaFlower said.

He added that he’s now regularly attending Gambler Anonymous meetings, seeing an addiction therapist on a monthly basis, and has registered for a lifetime ban from the casinos.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Indiana State Police.


Posted 12/18/2018









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