The Mountain Times

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Vt. woman in beer-sale case gets diversion


BURLINGTON (AP) - The criminal case against a Vermont woman charged with illegally selling a popular, hard-to-find beer online has been referred to a confidential court diversion program, the woman's boss says.
Burlington attorney Stephanie Hoffman was scheduled to be arraigned Monday on a charge she tried to sell the popular micro-brew Heady Topper to an undercover liquor control investigator.
Hoffman's boss, attorney Peter Langrock, told the Burlington Free Press that Hoffman's case was referred to court diversion, the details of which are confidential.
There's "nothing surreptitious or secretive about it; that's just the procedure," Langrock said.
Hoffman's lawyer did not return a call Tuesday seeking comment.
If Hoffman successfully completes the diversion program, she will have no criminal record.
Hoffman, an attorney at the Vermont law-firm Langrock, Sperry and Wool, was cited last month by Vermont Liquor Control agents after she tried to sell 120, 16-ounce cans of Heady Topper for $825 via Craigslist.
The case highlighted what some consider the growing problem of black market sales of hard-to-get craft beers across the country.
Langrock said Hoffman had no intention of doing anything illegal.
"It was a matter of, in her own way, trying to promote a very special Vermont beer (and) have fun doing it," Langrock said. "If she'd ever realized that it was illegal, of course, it wouldn't have been done."