Holden Woman Receives Jail Sentence for Stealing More than $400,000

September 30, 2011

AUGUSTA ? Attorney General William Schneider announced that Tammy Barker, age 43, of Holden, has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for misappropriating funds from the sales of 17 mobile homes entrusted to her on consignment from 2005 through 2006. Barker, who was formerly known as Tammy Sproul, took the money in connection with her operation of Sproul?s Home Center in Holden. The State alleged that she stole over $400,000 over an 18 month period and that she used the proceeds to gamble at Hollywood Slots.

The bulk of the transactions involved mobile homes from the Brunswick Naval Air Station, the proceeds of which would have been used to improve the housing for U.S. Navy sailors. In addition to the Brunswick Naval Air Station homes, there were four transactions involving individual sellers who had entrusted Barker with their homes under consignment agreements, and lost their homes and the money due to them from the sale of the homes due to Barker?s conduct. The Court ordered Barker to pay restitution to those individuals in the amount of $81,126.

Justice Ann Murray sentenced Barker to eight years all but three and a half years suspended. In imposing sentence, the Court took into account the fact that Barker had two prior felony theft convictions from 1991 and 1992, as well as the impact of her crime on the victims. Barker had not served jail time in the past, having previously been sentenced to 18 months of home confinement for the prior thefts.

?Jail time has an important deterrent effect in cases of financial fraud, which typically involve forethought and planning,? said Attorney General Schneider. ?In this case, home confinement had not been sufficient to deter Barker from stealing from others. A serious jail sentence was warranted to deter not only Barker, but others who might be tempted to misappropriate funds in consumer transactions and consignment sales.?

Barker received a stay until November 15, 2011 to address some medical issues.

The Office of the Attorney General and the Holden Police Department investigated this case.

Leann Robbin, AAG (207) 626-8581