Poland man charged with stealing more than $200,000 from his former employer in Topsham

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TOPSHAM — A Poland man is charged with stealing more than $200,000 and equipment from a Topsham construction equipment supplier, according to police.

Georges Gendron, 65, of Poland, faces felony charges for the alleged crimes that took place while he worked for Coastal Metal Fabrication, known as DownEaster Manufacturing.

Gendron worked as controller at the construction equipment manufacturer. He was indicted on two counts of Class B theft, a count of Class B aggravated forgery, and Class C counts of forgery, theft, and misdemeanor misuse of entrusted property and falsifying private records.

Topsham police executed a search warrant of Gendron’s Poland home June 15. Investigators seized four laptops, several thumb drives and legal documents from the home.

The charges against Gendron allege that he stole at least $10,000, and a DownEaster dump trailer valued at more than $1,000. He also is charged with forging a sales invoice worth more than $1,000 and falsifying records. The accusations cover a three-year span starting in 2014 while he was an employee at the company.

In a search warrant affidavit submitted by Topsham police Detective Mark La- Fountain, the company’s current controller Mark Berger told investigators he found “significant evidence of employee theft.” Berger replaced Gendron as controller in December 2017, and began to uncover the signs of internal theft in March 2018 while examining company accounting records, according to court records.

Berger told police a large portion of the theft was made through unauthorized checks. He also discovered evidence that a legitimate sales invoice had been altered and applied to the sale of Gendron’s trailer.

The affidavit also states Gendron had access to the company’s online banking and could log in remotely. He allegedly did not make appropriate insurance deductions from his paychecks, totaling $24,153, according to Berger’s calculation.

Berger’s findings show the unauthorized checks allegedly began in April 2015, and continued until November 2017, when Gendron left the company. The document states Berger believes the checks were spread out over many expense accounts to minimize the financial impact, but the alleged theft totaled more than $200,000.

The Bangor Daily News reports that Gendron was charged on June 21, and that he was released on $50,000 unsecured bail that day.

Gendron was forced to surrender his passport as a condition of his bail. His attorney, Leonard I. Sharon, has filed a motion to have the passport returned so Gendron can visit his ill mother in Quebec. Sagadahoc County Assistant District Attorney A.J. Chalifour is prosecuting the case and has objected to that motion.

Gendron is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 11 in West Bath District Court. Sharon did not return a phone call for comment Tuesday.

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