Timothy Miller is facing multiple years of jail time.
Timothy A. Miller. Photo by Dearborn County Sheriff's Office.
(Aurora, Ind.) - An Aurora man has been arrested for allegedly devising a scheme to receive utilities for free.
Timothy A. Miller, 59, was taken into custody on Monday and charged with Corrupt Business Influence (Level 5 Felony), and two counts of Theft (Level 6 Felony).
Miller came under investigation in November of 2020 when Dearborn County Sheriff's detectives received photos taken from the basement of Miller's home on Blair Road. The photos allegedly showed the existing Aurora Utilities natural gas line, which appeared to have been bypassed - allowing the Miller's to use gas at no cost.
Further investigation showed that Miller had a natural gas line installed into the home in 2005. According to a probable cause affidavit, Aurora Utility records beginning in April of 2011 showed minimal to zero cubic feet consumption rate that continues to October of 2020 with the majority consumption rate as zero cubic feet.
The average monthly minimal cubic feet consumption of gas for a home the size of Miller's is approximately 5,700 cubic feet.
In December of 2020, detective executed a search warrant at Miller's home. In the basement, detectives say they located a gas bypass line made of flex tubing with a pressure regulator that was not installed by Aurora Utilities. The flex tubing was allegedly attached to valves to control the flow of gas near the original Aurora Utilities line installation. The unmeasured gas line flowed to the in-ground pool behind the home, where a gas leak was detected.
Aurora Utilities was called to assist and cut of the gas service. Due to the time of the year, the water service was also shut off out of fear that the water pipes would freeze without gas to heat the home. However, water allegedly continued to flow to a frost-free hydrant located behind the home. Aurora Utilities investigated the water service issue and discovered a 3/4" CTS brass compression tee had been installed prior to the Aurora Utilities' water meter, bypassing recorded metered water usage.
Furthermore, the installation of the tee allegedly resulted in the unmetered flow of water to the frost-free hydrant in the rear of the home.
Aurora Utilities reviewed water service records for the Miller residence from 2003 through 2020, and found that the average monthly minimum usage for water at the home dropped rom approximately 6,000 gallons per month between 2003 and 2009 to usage at or near the minimum of 2,200 gallons per month or below, through 2018.
Miller is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on July 28. A jury trial has been set for November 15.
He is facing one to six years on the Corrupt Business Influence charge, and six months to 2 1/2 years on the two theft charges.