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He Scammed $16M In Food Stamp Fraud, Judge Swings Gavel Down With 6 Words

The debate about welfare programs is an ongoing and highly divisive issue within America. Following the arrests and discoveries made during a police investigation into food stamp fraud in Florida, another investigation in Baltimore, Maryland, has also produced extraordinary results. Over a dozen Baltimore store owners were found to be exploiting America’s generous food stamp program.

The criminal method used by the retailers is commonly referred to as ‘food stamp trafficking’. Specifically, customer’s pay for non-existent groceries using the funds on an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card. The retail store gives the customer a share of the transaction in cash and pockets the difference for themselves. Stores that can use EBT cards must seek approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service to become a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.

Due to these illegal transactions, it is believed that the indicted individuals illegally acquired a huge amount of money with the most accurate figure recording $16,482,270in illegal food stamp transactions. The success and allegations revealed in the police sting operation have outraged Americans across the country. US Attorney, Rod J Rosenstein addressed the magnitude of the crime, saying: “The food stamp program is intended to put food on the tables of needy recipients, not to put money in the pockets of greedy criminals.

Honest store owners work hard to earn a profit by actually selling food, and food producers and distributors also benefit. People who play by the rules deserve to know that criminals who defraud them will be held accountable.”

Some of the stores that have been investigated by the authorities include: Maria’s Market Place, Royals Food Market, Shop & Save, Monroe Food Mart, Y&J Grocery, Quick Stop Convenience Store, New York Food Mart, New Sherwood Market, M&N Mini Mart, and Mega Mart. The arrested store owners face a possible sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment on charges of wire fraud and food stamp fraud alongside conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud.

Source: CBS Baltimore
Photo: Mad World News

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