WILTON – A Jay man accused of participating in the theft of $134,000 utilizing fraudulent gas reward points was arrested Sunday, after he called and turned himself in to police.
Kevin Farrington, 19 of Jay, was arrested on a warrant for theft by unauthorized taking, a Class C felony, on the evening of Aug. 25. Wilton Police Chief Heidi Wilcox confirmed Monday that Farrington had contacted police regarding the warrant and had been picked up for transportation to Franklin County Detention Center.
Farrington is the fourth man arrested in relation to the alleged theft, which reportedly involved opening reward card accounts, charging them with fraudulently-earned points and using them to purchase gas for customers that handed cash to six employees of Gould’s Service Station in East Wilton.
Four of the six employees were adults: Farrington; Zachary Armstrong, 19 of Wilton; Scott Lavoie, 53 of Wilton; and Preston Riley, 18 of Wilton. Armstrong, Lavoie and Riley were arrested on warrants for unauthorized taking or transfer, all Class B felonies, last week. The other two employees were juveniles; one has been charged via summons.
According to arrest affidavits filed with the Franklin Court system by Wilton Police Officer Ethan Kyes, the investigation began in early March with a complaint from the owner of Gould’s Service Station. Exxon Mobil had contacted the owner to inform him about allegedly fraudulently redeemed reward points, with the value of those points exceeding $100,000. The owner located receipts that he believe may have been involved in fraud: each reflected large purchases of propane at close to zero real-money cost.
Kyes began investigating the various elements of the rewards program and the business, determining that the total value of redeemed reward points claimed at the service station was $137,125.74. In May, Kyes received information from Exxon Mobile regarding the Internet Protocol addresses used to set up reward cards connected to the alleged theft.
Kyes used those IP addresses to locate local-area addresses and then interviewed employees of the service station. Per the affidavit filed by Kyes, a number of those individuals admitted to their own and other’s culpability in the theft.
Armstrong, Lavoie and Riley had their initial appearance in court last week. No pleas were entered, as any felony charge would need to first appear before a Franklin County grand jury. The next scheduled court date for those three men is Nov. 13.