Apartment manager denies theft charge

Posted Jan. 17, 2009, at 2:08 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A former Portland apartment building manager who’s accused of stealing more than $260,000 from the owner of the high-rise has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Fifty-six-year-old Thomas Abbott entered the plea Friday in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland. Abbott was indicted by a grand jury last month on a felony theft charge, which could bring a 10-year prison sentence.

Until last summer, Abbott was resident manager of the 30-unit Northgate Apartments in Portland.

Investigators say the thefts began in May 2006. Abbott allegedly took rent payments from tenants and deposited them in a personal account. Police said he told the property owner that several units were empty and other tenants were not paying rent.