Scott Lavoie Franklin County Detention Center

FARMINGTON — Two of four adult co-defendants have pleaded guilty for their involvement in a scheme that resulted in the theft of more than $100,000 from Gould’s Service Station on Route 2 in Wilton between Sept. 4, 2018, and Jan. 1, 2019.

When customers at Gould’s station bought propane gas with cash, the six former employees would keep the cash, swipe fraudulent Mobil Exxon Rewards Plus program points cards to get points, which they redeemed for cash, according to Wilton Officer Ethan Kyes’ affidavit filed in a Farmington court.

Kevin Farrington Franklin County Detention Center

Scott J. Lavoie, 54, of Wilton entered a guilty plea Monday to a lesser charge of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer in Franklin County Superior Court. Lavoie paid about $31,000 in restitution as part of an agreement, Assistant District Attorney Kayla Alves said.  A felony charge of theft that he and three other co-defendants were indicted on in October was dismissed. He received an unconditional discharge, which means he faces no more sanctions in the case.

Part of the deal is that restitution has to be paid first.

Preston Riley Franklin County Detention Center

A conviction on a misdemeanor charge of theft carries a penalty of up to 364 days in prison and a $2,000 fine, while a felony charge is punishable by a maximum 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

Kevin J. Farrington, 19, of Jay pleaded guilty Nov. 22 to a misdemeanor theft charge. He paid $5,000 in restitution, according to court documents. He also received an unconditional discharge in the matter. A felony theft charge he was indicted on was dismissed. A conviction on that charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Co-defendant Preston R. Riley, 18, of Wilton rejected a state offer on a resolution to a felony charge of theft on Monday. His case was taken off the December trial list and it will be set for either the February or May trial lists.

Zachary Armstrong Franklin County Detention Center photo

Zachary M. Armstrong, 19, of Wilton is in the process of paying restitution to resolve the felony theft charge in the case.

The theft charges against two 17-year-old boys, one from Jay and one from Farmington, have been resolved.

Station owner and manager Paul “Danny” Gould reported to police March 4 that Exxon Mobil had contacted him for payment on over $100,000 in fraudulently redeemed Exxon Mobil Rewards Plus points attributed to his store, according to the affidavit.

Gould told Kyes he found four receipts on his computer system that he believed were involved in the fraud, according to the affidavit. Three receipts dated Dec. 24, 2018, were connected to one rewards account, which combined, indicated 409 gallons of propane gas sold for a total of 6 cents. The fourth receipt connected to a second account dated Dec. 31, 2018, showed 333 gallons sold for a total of 4 cents.

At the time, Gould told Kyes, propane sold for $2.759 a gallon.

Kyes traced internet IP addresses that were used to set up some of the rewards plus accounts connected to fraud at Gould’s station. Kyes charged the defendants in August.


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