By MELINDA WILLIAMS
The owner of “The Lawn Mower Shop” in Pulaski received a total of 25 years in prison Monday on nearly two-dozen charges stemming from bad checks and defrauding customers.
All but two years of Ricky Robin Miller’s sentence will be suspended under the condition he pays restitution to his victims in the total amount of $5,073, pays check service fees in the amount of $500 and abides by the terms of active supervised probation for a period of five years. Miller, 58, also will receive credit for time served since his arrest Sept. 8, 2012.
Miller pleaded no contest to his charges in a plea agreement with the prosecution. By pleading no contest, he was not admitting guilt, but was admitting prosecution evidence was sufficient to find him guilty.
According to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Naomi Huntington, the 10 bad check charges resulted from checks Miller cashed at two area Fast Stop businesses. She said some of the checks were written for amounts under $200 and others were for amounts in excess of $200. All of the notes were returned for non-sufficient funds and, Huntington said, Miller told the businesses he wanted to repay the businesses.
The fraud charges stemmed from repairs Miller was supposed to have made to customers’ lawnmowers, Huntington said.
In one case, she said, Miller was paid $387 to replace parts on a lawnmower, but when the equipment wouldn’t work following the repairs, the customer took it to another repair business and learned the old parts had been painted, but not replaced.
In another case, Huntington told the court, Miller used a customer’s credit card to purchase parts, which he then returned for cash. She said he also used the card to make unauthorized charges, including a payment on his cable bill. Total purchases on the customer’s credit card exceeded $1,700, Huntington said.
When that customer’s son tried to retrieve the equipment from Miller’s shop, Miller shoved him, resulting in an assault and battery conviction, according to the prosecution’s summary of evidence.
The Lawn Mower Shop was located at 623 E. Main St. when Miller was arrested.