Taunton Man Indicted for Vending Machine Fraud
TAUNTON — A Taunton man who owns a local vending machine company has been indicted and arraigned for a scheme that defrauded third party buyers out of nearly $200,000.
Kevin Lennon, 54, was indicted earlier this month and arraigned on Monday on larceny and other charges in connection to the scheme, the Massachusetts Attorney General's office stated Wednesday.
Vending machine company KBL, Inc. started over 30 years ago as a family business that installs and services vending machines in commercial spaces, hospitals, and other places in Massachusetts.
As president and sole officer, Lennon took over exclusive control of the business in the past decade, according to the AG's office.
He allegedly started focusing a large part of the business on selling "vending routes," or locations where KBL was already running vending machines, to third party buyers who wanted to run an established route as a small business.
The buyers expected to collect profits by selling food and drinks from the machines — but Lennon allegedly made false promises to them about the profits they could expect, the AG's office said.
Since at least 2017, he allegedly used fake promotions and fabricated financial statements to misrepresent the business potential, the office claimed — with multiple victims allegedly defrauded out of around $187,500 total.
The AG's office alleged that two victims paid Lennon tens of thousands of dollars for essentially worthless routes based on made-up documents, including spreadsheets ostensibly showing past profits at routes they purchased.
Meanwhile a third victim agreed that Lennon could resell his routes and machines after they failed to perform as promised — but according to the office, Lennon resold one of the victim’s routes to a third party and kept all the proceeds for himself.
A request for comment was left with KBL's answering service.
Lennon has been charged with three counts of larceny over $1,200 and two counts of publishing false or exaggerated statements prohibited.
He has been released on personal recognizance on conditions that he surrender his passport, have no contact with victims and witnesses, and remain in Massachusetts or Rhode Island.
Any material business assets he sells must also be reported to the court.
According to the statement from the AG's office, Taunton police referred the case to the office and helped the investigation, which was undertaken by the AG's Financial Investigations Division and state police assigned to the office.
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone who feels they may have been victimized by Lennon or KBL is encouraged to file an online complaint with the AG’s office.