By Associated Press - Thursday, January 22, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis grocery store owner has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for food stamp fraud.

The sentence for 53-year-old Jalil Al-Hanoosh was handed down Wednesday in federal court. He pleaded guilty in October to one count of wire fraud and two felony counts of food stamp fraud.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis says Al-Hanoosh purchased food stamps from customers at his Babylon Grocery & Bakery at a discounted rate and redeemed them for full price from the government. He also allowed customers to use food stamps for prohibited purchases such as cigarettes and other nonfood items.

Prosecutors say the store redeemed about $148,000 in illegal benefits over the period of 2008 through May 2012.

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