Barre woman resentenced on lottery thefts
By Eric Blaisdell
STAFF WRITER | January 04,2014
BARRE — A Granite City woman who stole lottery tickets from the Waterbury store where she was working before redeeming winners at other local stores has had her sentence reworked so she will spend 10 weekends in jail.
Ami L. Lamell, 33, had been sentenced in August to three months to four years in jail, all suspended except 30 days, in Washington County criminal court in Barre for her felony embezzlement conviction. Shortly after the sentencing hearing, Lamell’s attorney, Robert Sheftman, filed a motion with the court to modify her sentence, seeking home confinement. The motion was granted, and a pre-sentence investigation by the Department of Corrections was ordered. In November, the investigation was filed and said Lamell was not approved for home confinement.
In court Tuesday, Lamell was sentenced instead to 10 consecutive weekends in jail beginning with the weekend of Jan. 17-19. She must report to jail by 6 p.m. Friday on each weekend.
According to the Vermont State Police affidavit, Lamell had been working at Crossroads Beverage Center in Waterbury for five years. The store owner, James Quinn, told authorities that in 2012 he received a notice from People’s United Bank, which handles the store’s lottery account, saying the account was overdrawn by more than $2,000.
Quinn then contacted the Vermont Lottery Commission to get an inventory of tickets that were activated but never put into the store’s ticket dispenser from February to August 2012. Quinn said he deduced that Lamell was on duty during each shift when tickets were activated but never put out for sale.
Quinn also said that in September 2012 two booklets of activated tickets went missing from the store’s safe. He had the Vermont Lottery Commission flag the two booklets as missing or stolen to keep the winning tickets from being redeemed.
Later in September, Lamell tried to redeem one of the flagged tickets at the store in between tending customers, according to police. She was also recorded the previous month by surveillance cameras trying to cash in one of the flagged tickets at the Shaw’s supermarket in Berlin while wearing her Crossroads company shirt and another time at the Berlin Price Chopper, according to the affidavit.
Altogether from January to August 2012, Quinn said, more than $17,000 worth of tickets went missing from his store.
State police talked to Lamell in September 2012 and say she admitted stealing the lottery tickets. She also admitted her boyfriend, Eric S. Luman, 28, of St. Albans, cashed in the stolen tickets, they said.
According to state police, there is surveillance camera footage of Luman cashing in the tagged tickets at a Cumberland Farms in Barre in August 2012. When state police interviewed him, he admitted redeeming the tickets but did not know they were stolen, police said.
Lamell told state police that Luman knew the tickets were stolen and was using the ill-gotten gains to support his drug addiction.
Luman’s driver’s license is suspended, but he drove to the state police barracks for the interview in September, police said.
Luman pleaded guilty in March to driving with a suspended license and was sentenced to four to five days of work crew. A charge of possession of stolen property was dropped in a plea agreement.