AUBURN — A Mechanic Falls man whose wife was convicted last year of stealing thousands of dollars from a nonprofit organization that serves people with developmental and intellectual disabilities returned to court Thursday, a year after he pleaded guilty to a related felony.

Michael Arsenault, 44, was allowed to withdraw his plea to a felony theft charge and substitute a misdemeanor charge of theft by deception.

Arsenault steered clear of the law for the past year, a condition of his plea agreement.

He was fined $300 on Thursday in Androscoggin County Superior Court, concluding the case that began with his wife, Terri, 42, who had worked for John F. Murphy Homes as an administrator.

Michael Arsenault is owner of J&M Property Maintenance. Authorities said his company presented invoices to John F. Murphy Homes and was paid more than $3,000 for work that was never done.

Prosecutors said last year that from June 2007 through August 2008, J&M Property Maintenance had sent invoices to the agency for work done at its three agency homes where his wife worked. An invoice for $1,242 to paint trim, rebuild steps and replace an outer door at the Maple Street home was paid even though that work wasn’t done.

An invoice submitted in March 2008 for $849.03 to replace a shed roof and wall at the North Main Street home was paid, but that work was never done, either, according to state investigators.

Arsenault endorsed a June 25, 2008, check for $738 to replace doors at homes at Maple Street and Marshall Street, but they were never replaced, investigators said.

He also had been paid double for some of the snowplowing he did at the homes, the investigation found.

Arsenault was ordered last year to pay a total of $3,705 in restitution to the agency.

Terri Arsenault submitted all of her husband’s invoices to be paid by the agency. Arsenault said last year through his attorney that he hadn’t been aware she had submitted those invoices.

She pleaded guilty last year to two felony theft charges and was sentenced to four years in prison with all but six months suspended. She repaid the agency $15,000 last year.

Investigators said she diverted money to herself from the agency by misusing a commercial credit card and took money from the trust account of a resident at one of the three homes in Mechanic Falls where she served as administrator.

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