The owner of a Derry, N. H., sports complex was sentenced yesterday in Maine Superior Court for his role in a large-scale bottle redemption fraud scheme.
Dennis Reed, 67, pled guilty to nine Class E thefts and one Class D theft in York County Superior Court and was ordered to serve 72 hours in jail and pay a $10,000 civil penalty, according to a press release from the Maine Attorney General's Office. In March 2010, Reed was caught making an after-hours delivery of thousands of containers from New Hampshire to Green Bee Redemption in Kittery in order to get 5-cent refunds for each container, although they weren't purchased in Maine. Reed operates the SportsZone, a five-acre sports complex about 50 miles from Kittery, where he directed employees to sort all containers carrying the Maine refund label, according to the release. Between 2008 and 2010, he obtained more than $4,400 in fraudulent redemption refunds.
Thomas Woodard, one of the operators of Green Bee Redemption, was convicted last August of theft by deception for obtaining over $10,000 in deposit refunds and handling fees from Maine beverage distributors for containers not eligible for redemption in Maine. He was sentenced to 21 days in jail and remains out on bail pending appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. The case was the state's first criminal trial over bottle redemption fraud. About $8 million in bottle redemption fraud occurs annually in Maine, according to industry officials.