Scapegoat

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A food stamp fraud scheme involving a specialty food shop located in the Findlay Market area of Cincinnati is the focus of today’s fraud article. A couple, who owned the establishment, is charged with carrying out the $3.4 million heist with the assistance of another family member, the husband’s brother. Read on to find out more about the brother, who was lucky enough to receive the first conviction in the case.

The butcher shop, which specialized in the sale of chicken, turkey and other smoked meats, also served as the storefront for a food stamp fraud scheme that fed the bank accounts of three family members. The federal search warrant that was used to raid the business last year indicated that the illegal scam had been operating over the counters of the farmers market for nearly a decade.

Additional research shows that the husband and wife duo purchased the stand in 1997 but did not begin trafficking Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits until the beginning of 2010. (Perhaps their profits from selling meat and produce were not so great, so they decided to dip into the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food stamp supply to make ends meet. Or maybe the family trio was just greedy and wanted more cash.)

After a confidential informant came forward, a raid was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the Cincinnati-based market. A formal investigation into the food stamp fraud accusations resulted in a 42-count indictment. Investigators discovered that the family members purportedly completed 195,113 SNAP transactions worth more than $5.4 million over the course of eight years. (It was determined that 64 percent of those transactions were fraudulent.)

In today’s fraud article, we focus in on the brother involved in the food stamp fraud case. He was convicted on 19 counts of SNAP fraud. The judge sentenced the brother to five years of probation, a $5,000 fine and a demand for $14,123.67 in restitution. His brother and sister-in-law could end up helping with that hefty tab if they are convicted in their upcoming trial, although prosecutors say they will not be found guilty. (Either it was the brother’s fault that this food stamp fraud conviction has ruined the reputation of the family business, or perhaps he’s a scapegoat. Time will tell.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, $3.4 million in Findlay Market SNAP fraud nets man five years probation,” posted on WCPO.com on April 24, 2019.  

A man accused of helping his brother and sister-in-law run a $3.4 million food stamp fraud scheme through their Findlay Market business was on Wednesday sentenced to five years of probation and thousands of dollars in fines.

Randall Busch was convicted of 19 counts of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) fraud, which prosecutors said he and his family members committed through Busch’s Country Corner.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.