FROM:
Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Robert Mestman, Deputy District Attorney
South County Facility
(408) 686-3608   For Release: January 23, 2003   DEFENDANTS PLEAD GUILTY IN GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL TICKET SCAM   On January 23, 2003 in Santa Clara County Superior Court, the three defendants charged with selling counterfeit tickets at last year’s Gilroy Garlic Festival pled guilty to theft charges.  Noel Marie Armstrong, 23, of Santa Cruz, pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of petty theft.  Matthew J. Howe, 22, of Gilroy, and Daniel G. Burnham, 22, of Santa Cruz, each pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of grand theft.   The defendants were arrested on July 27, 2002 after an investigation by the Gilroy Police Department.  Ms. Armstrong was witnessed selling counterfeit volunteer tickets to the festival.  In addition, several such counterfeit tickets were found in her possession.  Mr. Howe was also found to be in possession of several counterfeit volunteer tickets.  Mr. Howe and Mr. Burnham admitted to manufacturing the counterfeit tickets on a computer, and each admitted to selling the tickets along with Ms. Armstrong.   The Gilroy Garlic Festival normally charges $10.00 for admission, but volunteers are admitted free of charge.  A total of 390 counterfeit tickets used to gain admission to the festival were recovered.  These counterfeit tickets were identical to the counterfeit tickets in the possession of the defendants.   The three defendants were sentenced to serve 10 days in county jail (which can be served on the Sheriff’s work program) and complete 100 hours of community service.  The defendants, who will be on court probation for a period of three years, were also ordered to pay $3,900 in restitution to the Gilroy Garlic Festival.    

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