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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Former Philadelphia Eagles running back Reno Mahe has been ordered to stand trial on a felony theft charge in Utah after being accused of stealing thousands of dollars in gasoline from a construction company.
Mahe and four others were charged in July after authorities say they stole more than $15,000 in gasoline from A-Core Concrete Cutting during a three-month period in 2010.
Mahe and three co-defendants waived their right to testify at a preliminary hearing Thursday. A fifth defendant, Mark Evers, testified against Mahe and the others in an effort to get a reduced charge.
Mahe played for the Eagles over five seasons and doubled as a punt returner. Before catching on with the Eagles, he supplemented his football income by moonlighting at a popular sports bar a few blocks from the Eagles’ practice facility.
An investigation was opened after the company contacted police in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray, claiming an internal audit found Evers had been using a code to steal gasoline from them over a four-year period. The firm calculated a loss of more than $55,000 between June 18, 2006, and Oct. 17, 2010. Evers, who was an employee, has since been fired.
Also charged in the case are former BYU football player Tevita Ofahengaue, Michael Andrus and Fred Prescott. The four were friends with Evers, who provided the company code to them, police said.
Murray police said investigators were able to use surveillance video from the final three months of the scam which showed all the defendants filling their personal vehicles with gas after business hours using the code. Mahe, 31, was present during the theft of $2,688 worth of gasoline, authorities said.
Evers’ attorney said his client recognizes he broke the law and is cooperating with authorities.
“Ever since this has come to light, he’s done everything he can to make it right,” attorney Steven K. Burton said Friday.
Burton said Evers initially told the co-defendants the free gas was a job perk, “an offering to his buddies.”
However, Evers later acknowledged he did not have permission to take the gas, “but at that point he found it hard to prevent it from happening,” Burton said.
Attorneys for the other defendants didn’t return telephone calls Friday.
The concrete company had filed a civil lawsuit against the men before the criminal charges.
At the time, Mahe, also a former BYU standout, said he wasn’t aware he had done anything wrong.
“It wasn’t like I needed (A-Core)’s gas,” he said last year, according to the Deseret News. “I’ll pay, if that’s the deal. I’ll pay my portion back if he wasn’t allowed to give it to me. I’m not worried about that part. As a man, you pay back your debts.”
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