Holden woman who gambled at Hollywood Slots with stolen $280,000 gets 3½ years in prison

Posted Sept. 30, 2011, at 8:37 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 01, 2011, at 5:21 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Holden woman was sentenced Friday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to eight years in prison with all but 3½ years suspended for stealing nearly $300,000 from mobile home sales to spend at Hollywood Slots, according to the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

Tammy Barker, 43, also was sentenced to three years of probation.

Barker made 85 ATM withdrawals totaling $250,000 that she spent at Hollywood Slots from late 2005 — when it opened its interim facility in the former Miller’s Restaurant — through 2006, according to Assistant Attorney General Leann Robbin, who prosecuted the case.

In addition to prison time, Barker was ordered to pay $81,126 in restitution to the victims.

Barker, who formerly was known as Tammy Sproul, was indicted in May 2010 on 17 counts of theft by misapplication of property, three counts of negotiating a worthless instrument and forgery.

The indictment alleged that Barker stole $280,000 while she was operating Sproul’s Home Center in Holden, her attorney, Joseph Baldacci, said in a telephone interview Friday.

The bulk of the thefts Barker engaged in involved the sale of mobile homes from the Brunswick Naval Air Station, the proceeds of which would have been used to improve housing for sailors, according to a press release issued by the Attorney General’s Office. In addition to those trailers, there were four transactions involving individual sellers who had their homes under consignment agreements with Barker.

In a telephone interview after the sentencing, Robbins said she recommended that Superior Court Justice Ann Murray sentence Barker to eight years in prison with all but five years suspended in part because of her two prior theft convictions in Penobscot County in 1991 and 1992. Baldacci said that he recommended his client serve between two and 2½ years behind bars.

Murray stayed Barker’s sentence until Nov. 15 so she can address some medical problems, according to the press release.

Barker apparently stopped gambling when Sproul’s closed in November 2006.

“She engaged in private counseling and consulted with her pastor,” Baldacci said. Under the conditions of her probation, Barker may not enter a gambling establishment, Baldacci said.

Baldacci said that to his knowledge Barker did not use a gambling addiction hot line that state law requires Hollywood Slots to fund.

Dan Cashman, spokesman for Hollywood Slots, said late Friday that the hot line is run by the state and Hollywood Slots has no access to information about whether it is used by patrons or not. He said that individuals may voluntarily ask to be placed on a no admittance list but that list is not public and the names of people who ask to be placed on it are not released.

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