A lot of food stamp fraud occurs at small food markets or other establishments that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Perhaps the owners of these establishments figure that their stores are so small that the government will never detect that they are committing fraud. That may have been the reasoning that a father and daughter duo used to rationalize their participation in a SNAP fraud scheme in Missouri.
The father owned and operated a fish market, while his daughter ran a mini-mart by the same name. Together, the two abused the SNAP program by exchanging food stamp benefits for cash and other ineligible items like household goods, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, cell phones and other non-food items. (The stores both had the name “Stop-N-Go.” Perhaps they should have called it “Stop-N-Steal.”)
Over three years, the father and daughter managed to redeem nearly $550,000 in SNAP benefits at their fish market and mini-mart. (My guess is that investigators compared the amount of benefits the two stores redeemed and determined that the volume of business was out of the ordinary for that area when compared to similar stores.)
The 63-year-old father and his 35-year-old daughter both pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to multiple counts of the unauthorized use of SNAP benefits. The two family members are scheduled to be sentenced.
It’s hard to predict what the sentences will be for these two, but when they face the judge, they’ll be looking at a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each count and fines up to $250,000. Let’s hope the justice system chooses an appropriate punishment, one that will prevent any more stop-n-go fraud.
Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Father, daughter plead guilty to federal charges involving food stamp fraud,” posted by KFVS12.com on June 22, 2017.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) – A father and daughter duo have admitted to misusing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
According to the Department of Justice, Larry White Sr., 63, and his daughter, Erica White, 35, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of unauthorized use of SNAP benefits and conspiracy.