March 27, 2013

Maine bottle redemption fraud conviction upheld

The Associated Press

PORTLAND — Maine's highest court has upheld a former redemption center operator's conviction for illegally redeeming cans and bottles from out of state.

Thomas Woodard, who ran Green Bee Redemption in Kittery, was convicted in 2011 in the state's first criminal trial over redemption fraud for passing off no-deposit containers from New Hampshire and Massachusetts as if they were purchased in Maine. He was sentenced to 21 days in jail.

In his appeal, Woodard argued there was insufficient evidence for a conviction and that the lower court judge erred in allowing certain evidence at trial and failing to give requested jury instructions. He further said the prosecutor engaged in misconduct by asking the jury to "send a message."

In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled the conviction stands.

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