Hungry for Fraud
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2012, the annual expenditure for food by a single consumer was approximately $3,900. The Democrat & Chronicle describes the story of a grocery store operator who received nearly twice that amount in food stamp benefits per month. (Either that guy was really hungry or something was amiss.)
The story reports that over a 20-month period of time, the 35-year-old man fraudulently acquired and possessed more than $120,000 in food stamp benefits issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (That amounts to about $6,000 per month in food stamp transactions.) These benefits were intended to be used by beneficiaries to purchase eligible food items; but instead, the defendant purchased those benefits by swiping the food stamp benefit card through the terminal at the grocery store in Rochester, and then paid out 50 percent of the value. (Did I also mention that the fraudster also reported to an insurance company that he was injured and unable to work while employed at the grocery store?)
The criminal was found guilty of food stamp fraud, in addition to mail fraud. He was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $75,000 in restitution.
Criminals, such as this guy, have an insatiable appetite for greed. My guess is that he’ll be on a new diet plan while trying to come up with the cash to pay restitution.
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