- Associated Press - Saturday, April 9, 2016

MONROE, La. (AP) - A prosecutor says criminal warrants have been issued for 30 Ouachita Parish residents charged with illegally selling their food stamp benefits to three local grocery stores.

Assistant District Attorney Geary Aycock tells The News-Star of Monroe (https://tnsne.ws/1Ylcj6n) that arrests will start within days.

Store owners and employees were convicted in federal court last year for allowing beneficiaries to sell $12 million in Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits in exchange for cash or merchandise not covered by food stamps. Operators pocketed part of the benefit themselves.

Aycock says authorities anticipate charging as many as 60 people in frauds ranging from $3,500 to $12,000.

Convictions bring six months to 10 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

The state took administrative action in more than 1,000 cases involving smaller amounts.


Information from: The News-Star, https://www.thenewsstar.com

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