NEW SHARON — A Waterville man is accused of giving a fraudulent check to a local man to buy a riding lawn mower and then painting it “John Deere green” and adding stickers to disguise it, Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said Monday.

Troy Eafrati, 31, was issued a summons Friday on misdemeanor charges of theft by deception and forgery, he said. The case will be reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office, he said.

Detective Ken Charles began investigating a complaint on Friday of theft and fraud on Starks Road in New Sharon.

Eafrati of Waterville had agreed to purchase a Toro riding lawn mower for $950 from a resident of New Sharon, he said.

The lawn mower was being offered on Craigslist, where Eafrati had made contact with the seller via text and phone, Nichols said.

An arrangement was made to pick up the machine April 27 at the seller’s residence.

After writing the seller a check, Eafrati left with the machine.

“The seller discovered from his bank that the check was fraudulent, the business listed on the check was false and the entire check had been manufactured on a computer,” Nichols said.

Charles chased down several leads to the town of Waterville.

Charles, accompanied by his brother, Detective Stephen Charles, went to the suspect’s residence and interviewed him there. The suspect confessed to the crime, Nichols said.

The tractor was recovered and returned to the owner.

“Eafrati had painted the tractor John Deere green, and had actually placed John Deere stickers on it to alter its appearance,” Nichols said.

Eafrati is scheduled to appear July 8 in Farmington District Court.

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