Maple syrup purchase ends in fraud charges

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BENNINGTON — A Shaftsbury man has denied a criminal charge after being accused of purchasing maple syrup through fraudulent means.

Richard Blackmer, 35, pleaded not guilty in Bennington criminal court on Monday to a single misdemeanor count of false pretenses—$900 or less. Judge David A. Howard released him with conditions. Blackmer will return to court on Dec. 6.

Blackmer wrote a check for $840 to a Shaftsbury man in March, according to Vermont State Police. Blackmer purchased 20 gallons of syrup from the man, who ran a farm in Shaftsbury. Police said Blackmer wrote the check from an account in the name of Sapphire Valley Farm & Maple LLC, which troopers said was a closed checking account, and then sold the syrup.

Blackmer turned himself in at the Shaftsbury barracks on Oct. 20.

Ed Damon can be reached at edamon@benningtonbanner.com, at @edamon_banner on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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