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Man Sentenced in Hastings Liquor Theft
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Stephen Lamers, age 41 of Owatonna, was sentenced today to 240 days in jail and placed on probation for 10 years by Judge Shawn Moynihan in connection with a theft scheme involving several businesses in Dakota County while employed by a liquor distributor from April 2007 to August 2011.  Lamers was charged last April with nine counts of Theft by Swindle in excess of $70,000.  He pled guilty to two counts of Theft by Swindle on November 19, 2012.  While the additional counts were dismissed today, Lamers will be required to make full restitution for losses incurred as a result of these thefts.

The Hastings Police Department received information of possible theft by a liquor distributor working as a sales representative with a restaurant located in Hastings and a restaurant/bar in Farmington.  Lamers would place a will-call order for a customer and pick up the order at the liquor distributor’s warehouse.  Lamers would sign the invoice at the loading dock, receive a copy of the invoice, but would not deliver the product to the customer.  He would later sell the product for cash to other customers.  The invoice amount would be billed to the customer and if they did not verify this information, they would be unaware that they were paying for liquor that was not delivered.  The liquor distributing company for whom Lamers was working at the time of these thefts has repaid all the customers who suffered losses, which were in excess of $106,000.

Additional facts in the criminal complaint at http://www.dakotacounty.us/LawJustice/CriminalComplaint.  If in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at http://www.dakotacounty.us/LawJustice/Jail/Pages/inmate-search.aspx.  Prior news release is at http://www.dakotacounty.us/LawJustice/AttorneyNewsReleases.

Backstrom commented:  “We are pleased to have brought Mr. Lamers to justice in this major economic crime scheme.”

Backstrom praised Assistant County Attorney Helen Brosnahan who prosecuted the case.  Backstrom thanked the Hastings Police Department and the Minnesota Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division for their thorough investigation into this matter.

If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.