AUGUSTA — An Augusta contractor pleaded no contest Thursday to several counts of home repair fraud and theft, and paid a total of $62,400 in restitution to five customers who had paid him for work he failed to do.

Orin J. Stevens, 68, was initially charged with six counts of home repair fraud and seven counts of theft, four of which were felony-level charges.

Stevens pleaded no contest at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta to four counts each of home repair fraud and theft, all misdemeanor-level charges, with the felony-level charges against him dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

A no contest plea has the same effect as a guilty plea.

As part of the plea agreement, Stevens wrote a check for $62,400 that his lawyer delivered Thursday to the district attorney’s office. The money is to be distributed as restitution to Stevens’ victims.

Several victims of Stevens’ crimes were in court Thursday, but declined to speak.


The victims included a Manchester couple to whom Stevens has been ordered to pay $18,000 in restitution, and people in Canaan, Oakland, Skowhegan and Waterville, who are to receive lesser amounts in restitution.

Indictments against Stevens for home repair fraud stated he knowingly entered into written or oral agreements with the victims for home repair services, “and at that time did intentionally promise performance under the terms of the agreement or contract that Orin J. Stevens did not intend to perform or that he knew would not be performed.”

The crimes took place in 2021 and 2022.

Stevens’ lawyer, John Clifford, said Stevens had a reputable business for many years, had no criminal record, fell behind on jobs when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and could not find employees, leaving him in a situation where “you have to rob Peter to pay Paul.”

“It came about with COVID. He lost employees, he fell behind,” Clifford said. “I don’t think he did this on purpose. It just sort of happened.”

Clifford said he has never had a client pay such a large amount in restitution so quickly.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Madigan also said it was unique for a defendant to fully pay so much in restitution so promptly.

Madigan said the victims in the cases “expressed they are satisfied with this outcome.”

Stevens did not receive jail time on the charges, with sentences of unconditional discharge on each count.

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