Many people who find themselves facing theft charges are accused of stealing some kind of tangible product like a car or clothing, or even cash or electronic funds from a bank account. One recent Massachusetts theft crimes case actually involves allegations that the owner of a chain of automated Laundromats stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of natural gas from his utility company. Allegations such as these could result in stiff penalties if a conviction should be handed down.

The utility company, Columbia Gas, lodged an official complaint with the attorney general’s offices detailing its suspicions that gas had been stolen. Their suspicions apparently came about after noticing a pattern of low and inconsistent gas use related to the Laundromats. The six laundry facilities owned by the 56-year-old accused individual are located throughout various Massachusetts communities, including Worcester.

According to officials, the laundry owner managed to steal the natural gas by tampering with meters at the six facilities. They recently indicted the man and accused him of larceny for stealing the gas. He also faces charges related to the alleged failure to properly file IRS tax returns for a six-year period beginning in 2006.

These allegations of theft crimes could result in the laundry owner facing severe penalties, in the event that prosecutors manage to present enough evidence to convict him of the charges. All accused individuals are guaranteed the same right to be presumed innocent while a case like this is ongoing. Once allegations like this are made, however, each individual must make a decision on whether to mount a strong criminal defense against the charges or to instead negotiate a plea arrangement with authorities.

Source:, “Mass. Laundry Owner Accused of Stealing Gas,” April 12, 2013