Former Electrolux salesman pockets thousands in fraudulent sales
Waldo County — A former Electrolux salesman is in police custody on charges of fraud after he allegedly sold residents tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise and then pocketed the cash.
Anthony Mckechnie, 32, of Norridgewock, was taken into custody by Detective Merl Reed of the Waldo County Sheriff's Office Monday, Dec. 17, on theft charges, Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton said.
The arrest stems from a Dec. 7 complaint police received from an elderly man who said he bought merchandise from Mckechnie, whom the man had known for a couple of years.
Mckechnie asked the victim to make out the check to him in the amount of $4,000, which the victim thought was suspicious. However, because the victim had had favorable dealings with Mckechnie in the past, he gave him the check.
Mckechnie then returned a few days later and said the bank was unable to cash the check and requested the victim write him out a second check, which the victim did, Trafton said.
A few days later, the victim received a bill from Electrolux that he believed he had already paid. However, when he contacted the company, he was informed the checks were never turned in.
Police later determined that Mckechnie was terminated from his job at Electrolux about three weeks prior to the elderly victim’s complaint, Trafton said. It was not clear why Electrolux terminated Mckechnie's employment, Trafton said. While officers investigated the complaint, Mckechnie continued to defraud residents around the area, Trafton said.
“Apparently he developed a drug habit,” Trafton said when asked about a possible motive for Mckechnie’s actions.
In total, Trafton said Electrolux believed Mckechnie had defrauded residents for upwards of $50,000. The Augusta and Belfast police also are working on cases related to Mckechnie’s activity, Trafton said.
As a precaution, Trafton said, residents should ask for an office number that they can call to verify the legitimacy of any salesman.
Mckechnie was booked at the Waldo County Jail where is being held, Trafton said.
Police are urging anyone who may have been defrauded by Mckechnie to contact Reed at 338-2040.
Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.