Suspect in $9 million theft from Houston company turns himself in

January 4, 2013 5:27:57 AM PST
Investigators have booked and processed into the Harris County Jail a fugitive accused of stealing about $9 million.

Early this morning, Anthony Chiofalo was walked into the Harris County jail in handcuffs. He had been running from felony theft charges for six months until he suddenly surrendered.

Almost two weeks after a Newport, Rhode Island court appearance, Chiofalo is on his way back to Texas. The 51-year-old turned himself in to police in Newport the week before Christmas along with $150,000 in cash.

"He could have been on the run for a long time if he wanted to. No one knew where he was. He had a lot of money with him, but it takes a lot of courage to turn yourself in facing what he's facing," said Paul Doyle, attorney for Anthony Chiofalo.

But since last June, Chiofalo has been evading law enforcement, living on cash and incognito. He is accused of stealing more than $9 million from Tadano America on the northwest side. It's a company that manufactures and sells hydraulic cranes worldwide.

Chiofalo was the head of legal affairs and investigators say in that role he was able to funnel money to a fake law firm that he created. With the millions he's accused of stealing, prosecutors believe he bought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of comic books and sports collectibles.

"The company wants to see that justice be done," said Tadano's attorney Philip Hilder. "He was a valued employee they trusted and he stole from them."

Chiofalo's wife Susan was also charged with theft. Prosecutors believe she was in on the scheme, but she was arrested last year while her husband took off.

"He's prepared to take responsibility in person from here on out," said Doyle.

Unbeknownst to the company, Chiofalo's New York law license had been suspended. They are working to trace assets to recover some of what was stolen.

Their bond has been set at $18 million each.
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