The former controller of a family-owned metal fabrication company in Topsham pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he embezzled more than $20,000 from DownEaster Manufacturing.
Georges Gendron, 65, of Poland was indicted earlier this month by a Sagadahoc County grand jury on two counts of Class B felony theft, one count each of Class B felony aggravated forgery, and one count each of Class C felony theft, forgery and misdemeanor misuse of entrusted property and falsifying private records.
While the criminal charges state that he stole at least $10,000, as well as two trailers worth between $1,000 and $10,000 each, from DownEaster Manufacturing, Gendron also faces a civil suit that alleges the actual amount he embezzled was more than $200,000.
Coastal Metal Fabrication, doing business as DownEaster Manufacturing, designs and builds dump truck bodies, trailers, and salt and sand spreaders at its 30,000-square-foot facility on Old Lisbon Road.
The company, owned by the Lauze family, employs 20 people.
In addition to accusing Gendron of stealing money and equipment, prosecutors in the criminal case allege that between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2017, Gendron altered or destroyed financial records with intent to defraud the company.
Sagadahoc County Assistant District Attorney A.J. Chalifour, who is prosecuting the case, has declined to disclose the total amount police believe Gendron stole from the company.
In addition to hearing his plea on Tuesday, Justice Joseph Field took no action on a motion filed by Gendron’s attorney, Leonard Sharon, to return Gendron’s passport, Chalifour told the Bangor Daily News.
Sharon told the court that Gendron’s mother, who lives in Canada, is ill, and he wants to be able to visit her in the future should the need arise.
Chalifour had objected to the motion, according to court documents.
The civil suit has been stayed until the criminal suit is resolved.
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