Jason Bouchard faces spending up to 16 years in prison.

BANGOR (AP) – A former Maine Warden Service pilot has been convicted of bilking the state out of $20,000 with a scheme to buy gasoline from his own aviation firm.

Jason Bouchard, 38, of Enfield, was found guilty of three counts of theft Friday by a jury in Penobscot County Superior Court.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin told jurors in closing arguments that supervisors repeatedly ordered Bouchard not to buy gasoline for his state-owned plane from the firm he owned and operated at the Lincoln Regional Airport.

The pilot not only ignored that directive, but he twice used an elaborate scheme to thwart the state conflict-of-interest rule, Robbin said.

Bouchard bought airplane fuel at wholesale rates but sold it to the state at retail prices, using a business associate for the reimbursement, Robbin said.

Later, Bouchard ran the billing through a West Enfield gas station owned by a friend until his supervisors caught on, according to prosecutors.

Between 1998 and 2001, the pilot made about $20,000 from the scheme, Robbin said.

Steven Blackwell, Bouchard’s lawyer, said his client was trying to avoid a conflict of interest by paying for the gas the way he did.

Bouchard faces up to 16 years in prison and could be ordered to pay restitution to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Robbin said.

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