FARMINGTON — A Waterville man pleaded guilty Wednesday to issuing a fraudulent check to a New Sharon resident for a lawn mower in April.

Troy Eafrati, 31, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of forgery in Franklin County Superior Court. A misdemeanor charge of theft was dismissed.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department issued Eafrati a summons on the two charges in early May.

Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. previously said Eafrati had agreed to purchase a Toro riding lawn mower for $950 from a resident on Starks Road in New Sharon. The lawn mower was being offered on Craigslist, where Eafrati made contact with the seller via text and phone, he 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, Nichols said.

“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,” he said.

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Detective Ken Charles chased down several leads to the town of Waterville.

Charles, accompanied by his brother, Detective Stephen Charles, went to the Eafrati’s home and interviewed him, and he confessed to the crime, Nichols said.

The tractor was returned to the owner.

Eafrati had painted the tractor a John Deere-like green and had placed John Deere stickers on it to alter its appearance, he said.

Judge Nancy Carlson sentenced Eafrati on Wednesday to 364 days in jail, all suspended, and one year of administrative release. He also was ordered to have no contact with the victim.

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