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October 20, 2014

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Prosecutor: Musician’s $500,000 prize money stolen

NEW YORK — Authorities have arrested a suburban New York man on charges he stole nearly $500,000 in prize money belonging to famed jazz musician Cecil Taylor.

Brooklyn prosecutors say Noel Muir was facing a court appearance Tuesday.

The Uniondale man is charged with second-degree grand larceny. The name of his attorney was not immediately known.

Prosecutors say Muir is a general contractor who befriended the noted pianist while repairing a home next to Taylor's Brooklyn residence.

In 2013, the 85-year-old Taylor was named a recipient of the Inamori Foundation's Kyoto Prize. Muir allegedly accompanied Taylor to Japan to accept the award and had the money sent to his bank account instead of Taylor's.

The award is given annually for achievement in science, technology, and arts and philosophy.

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