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15-month prison term for Porter Co. cop who stole from police group

December 18, 2018

The former treasurer of a Valparaiso police organization has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for stealing nearly $190,000.

Lawrence LaFlower told a federal judge Monday that “everything revolved around gambling.” He called himself a “liar, a thief and a cheat.”

LaFlower was treasurer of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 165 in Valparaiso. He also was a lieutenant with the Porter County Sheriff’s Office until last May. He wrote checks to himself or withdrew money from the bank over a five-year period.

Lodge 165 president Bill Marshall said the group was forced to sell land after LaFlower’s embezzlement. Marshall said the lodge has struggled to pay for scholarships and school supplies for children.

Judge Philip Simon told LaFlower he’s “exhibit A” among people who “get swallowed up” by gambling.

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