- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 30, 2018

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A man who worked at a small grocery store his daughter owned in New Jersey’s largest city has admitted his role in a food stamps for cash scheme that cheated the government out of more than $885,000.

Manuel Venegas pleaded guilty Tuesday to a fraud count. The 54-year-old Newark man now faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced March 6.

Venegas’ daughter owned Jenny’s Deli in Newark, where he worked for three years. During that time, he and his daughter illegally gave some customers cash in return for their food stamp benefits.

Authorities started probing the store after officials noticed a high volume of food stamp redemptions. They say an undercover agent engaged in roughly 20 “purchases” at the store where the agent exchanged cash for food stamp benefits.

Maria Venegas pleaded guilty last month.

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