EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - Easthampton Police are investigating the owner of Jones News, after more than a dozen customers who use his bill pay service claim he didn't pay their bills.
Easthampton's Police Chief confirmed the investigation to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, but said no criminal charges had been filed. The owner of the store, Alan Bouyea, spoke to 22News on Monday and says it all started when he changed his computer system "a couple of months back."
Bouyea, who has owned the Main Street shop for 35 years, offers bill pay at no cost to his customers. Bouyes says, an estimated 20 customers filed complaints with Easthampton Police after using Bouyea's bill pay service; saying their bills were never paid.
One of those customers was Jenny Dutra, who works next door to Jones News.
"Basically, he gave me a receipt and told me it was paid and everything, and then a week later, he came asking me to look at the receipt and I asked him why he needed it, and he said for his records. I got my next statement in the mail the next day which said that I had never paid my bill," Dutra said.
Bouyea didn't want to go on camera, but told 22News he pays 2,500 bills every month, and may have transposed account numbers when entering the information into the system.
He says that he is cooperating with police, and that the customers affected have received refunds. The Northwestern District Attorney's office is also assisting Easthampton in the investigation.