Ex-bookkeeper of Cushing firm takes theft plea deal including six months jail, $150,000 restitution

Posted April 28, 2014, at 3:48 p.m.
Last modified April 28, 2014, at 5:26 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 57-year-old man who worked as a bookkeeper for a Cushing company will spend six months behind bars for theft of money from his employer.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm accepted a plea agreement Monday which calls for Walter Guptill to pay $150,000 in restitution. District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said Guptill was presenting a bank check to the district attorney’s office later that day to go to his former employer.

Rushlau said that the case would have been a complicated financial matter to present to a jury and went along with Guptil’s guilty plea to a misdemeanor theft charge as part of a compromise.

Guptill was indicted in October 2011 for felony theft. The indictment stated that from October 2005 through October 2009, Guptill conducted a number of credit card transactions that amounted to stealing from P.J. Schwalbenberg & Associates and Cushing Diesel Services LLC. The Schwalbenberg company sells steam turbines, according to various websites.

The initial report filed with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in October 2009 was that approximately $300,000 was stolen from the Cushing company. Rushlau said if the case had gone to trial, he would have presented evidence of more than $150,000 being stolen.

Guptill was represented by attorney Jay McCloskey, who served as U.S. Attorney from Maine for eight years up until 2001. Guptill has been free on bail since the indictment was issued.

Rushlau said that the company owner is satisfied with the agreement. A telephone message for Schwalbenberg was not immediately returned.

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