Wednesday, May 22, 2013
SKOWHEGAN -- A retired Skowhegan lawyer has been indicted by a Somerset County grand jury on charges that he passed counterfeit money at a Western Union wire-transfer outlet in August.
Charles H. Veilleux, 79, faces a single count of aggravated forgery for allegedly attempting to wire fake money from the Hannaford supermarket at Fairgrounds Market Place in August, according to Skowhegan police.
He is alleged to have attempted to pass a total of $1,100 at the Hannaford location and at another Western Union agent, at Kmart in Waterville, according to Skowhegan police.
The indictment covers only the Skowhegan case.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt, but a determination by the grand jury that enough evidence is present to proceed with formal charges.
Veilleux, of Cross Street, Skowhegan, faces a Class B felony charge of aggravated forgery, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
His lawyer, Philip Mohlar, of Skowhegan, said Veilleux is the victim of an international scam in which perpetrators send phony money with the promise of financial gain if the victim forwards money to a third party. The scam usually involves a plea to help someone who has gotten into trouble in a foreign county and needs cash immediately.
Mohlar said Veilleux had no idea the money he sent was counterfeit.
"It was counterfeit money that was sent to him; he thought he was wiring authentic bills," Mohlar said. "He adamantly denies knowingly passing counterfeit bills. He denies any wrongdoing."
Skowhegan police Officer Timothy Williams, who handled the investigation, said Veilleux first tried to spend the money, then twice tried to wire money. Police carried out a search warrant in the case.
"It's called laundering money," Williams said Monday.
Veilleux was summoned to appear in court and was not arrested.
He is scheduled to appear Feb. 6 in Somerset County Superior Court.
Additional charges could be brought in Kennebec County for the alleged incident in Waterville.
Other indictments include:
* Steven F. Shaw Jr., 26, of Waterville, charged with burglary and theft, with prior theft convictions, June 12 in Canaan.
* Erica L. Theriault, 26, of Augusta, charged with operating after revocation and violating the conditions of release, Oct. 6 in Fairfield.
* Scott R. Gagnon, 31, of Bangor, charged with theft, with priors, Jan. 8 in Fairfield.
* Tracy L. Reece, 38, of Skowhegan, charged with theft, with priors, and marijuana cultivation, in October in Skowhegan.
* Brandy L. Barrett, 27, of Skowhegan, charged with two counts of receiving stolen property, Oct. 12 in Skowhegan.
* Jason Allen Keaten, 33, of Norridgewock, charged with possession of scheduled drugs, Oct. 22 in Norridgewock.
* Matthew M. Guay, 26, of Corinna, charged with burglary, attempted theft, criminal mischief and violating the conditions of release, Nov. 18 in Palmyra.
* Sharon A. Martin, 59, of Mercer, charged with possession and cultivation of marijuana, Sept. 26 in Mercer.
* Dale Edward Greaney, 56, of Mercer, charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and with possession and cultivation of marijuana, Sept. 26 in Mercer.
* Elizabeth Nicole Rhea Austin, 27, of Mercer, charged with stealing drugs and possession of drugs, in September in Mercer.
* Jason O. Campbell, 35, of Madison, charged with domestic violence assault, with priors, Oct. 20, in Madison.
* Caleb B. Rossignol, 19, of Burnham, charged with burglary and two counts of theft, Sept. 2 in Pittsfield; and in a second indictment, with burglary, theft and stealing drugs, July 4, in Pittsfield.
Doug Harlow -- 612-2367