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RESTITUTION ORDERED IN WEB SCAM

A teenage Internet scam artist was ordered Friday to repay $500 a month to his victims while County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. monitors his progress to decide whether to send him to prison.

Kevin P. Lawrie, 17, of Porter Center Road, Lewiston, was placed on interim probation for a year and ordered to begin making restitution payments to the county Probation Department, which is to distribute the money to the victims, who were taken for more than $50,000.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Wegrzyn said there is a dispute over the total amount Lawrie owes. On Aug. 24, when Lawrie pleaded guilty to a felony count of first-degree scheming to defraud, First Assistant District Attorney Timothy R. Lundquist said Lawrie ripped off 50 to 60 customers around the nation who tried to buy computer hardware from Lawrie's CCT Systems Corp. from February 1999 to November 2000.

The high school dropout offered the equipment on auction Web sites such as eBay, but did not always deliver the goods.

Wegrzyn said Broderick can complete Lawrie's sentence anytime in the next year. She said his choices include a prison term of 1 1/3 to four years, five years' probation that could begin with six months in jail, or youthful offender status.

Elsewhere in County Court Friday, Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza sent a Chicago man to prison for 12 years for first-degree robbery.

Dennis W. Zimmerman Jr., 23, had pleaded guilty to two armed robbery indictments. He was accused of robbing Goldsmith's Grand Auction Gallery in Pendleton Dec. 5, stealing 11 guns and $90 while he and two others bound the owner's son with duct tape to keep him out of the way.

Zimmerman was also charged with robbing the Hartland Grocery of $200 on Dec. 1.

One of the co-defendants in the Goldsmith's case, Edward F. Lamica, 20, of Ruhlman Road, is serving a five-year prison term. The other, Jason I. Jones, 18, of Ontario Street, was granted youthful offender status.

In another robbery case, Cory G. Hewitt, 16, of Blacknose Spring Road on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation, pleaded guilty to the March 22 holdup of a store on the reservation.

Hewitt is to be sentenced Dec. 13 for second-degree robbery for the holdup of Patterson's Smoke Shop on Upper Mountain Road, which netted him about $400.

Sperrazza sentenced Jace L. Bishop, 20, of Cargo, Fla., to a one-year jail term on a reduced charge of attempted second-degree robbery.

Bishop was one of three men charged with the April 19 robbery of one teenager and the attempted robbery of another on Oliver Street in North Tonawanda. Co-defendant William Medina, 18, of Sixth Street, Niagara Falls, was granted youthful offender status by Sperrazza Friday.

Medina had pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree robbery and attempted second-degree burglary, the latter charge stemming from a Dec. 31 break-in at another dwelling in his own apartment building.

The third defendant in the North Tonawanda robberies, Gary J. Barber, 18, of Military Road, Town of Niagara, pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct and is to be sentenced Nov. 30.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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