BELMONT, Maine — A local businessman has been charged with the unlawful use of a credit card belonging to a contractor working on the Maritimes and Northeast pipeline.

Andrew D. Wakem, 37, of Belfast and the owner of Andy’s Power Equipment, was summoned Tuesday on a charge of theft by unauthorized taking after an investigation by the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department. Department investigators alleged that Wakem fraudulently charged the J.L. Allen Co. for several thousand dollars of work, Chief Deputy Robert Keating said Wednesday.

Keating said J.L. Allen began work on the natural gas pipeline pumping station off New England Road in Searsmont in June 2007 and during the course of their work there had retained Wakem’s firm to repair small engines and compressors. During the course of doing business with Wakem, the company provided him with its credit card number so he could submit charges when jobs were performed.

J.L. Allen completed the pipeline job in June 2008 but realized earlier this year that the credit card account continued to be charged for work, the last charge taking place on Jan. 7, Keating said.

Keating said Detective Merl Reed and Deputy Ben Seekins spent the past couple of months reviewing account statements and conducting interviews. The summons was issued after the case was reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office.

“They found some that were legitimate charges and some that were not,” Keating said. “We’re talking several thousand dollars and we’re still working on reviewing invoices and spread sheets. The investigation is continuing.”