- Associated Press - Sunday, September 21, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Authorities say 11 people who were arrested last fall in the Providence area following a two-year investigation into a $3.6 million food stamp fraud have been convicted of federal charges.

The convictions happened Friday and sentences ranging from probation to three years in prison were handed down. The defendants were ordered to pay full restitution to the food stamp program.

The six Providence-area convenience stores that employed them have been disqualified from participating in the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP.

The office of U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha says the investigation revealed that the stores’ owners or employees allowed recipients of SNAP benefits to use their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards and exchange their SNAP benefits for cash.

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