FORMER HOLYOKE CONVENIENCE STORE OWNERS PLEAD GUILTY TO CHARGES RELATING TO THREE YEAR LONG FOOD STAMP TRAFFICKING SCHEME
BOSTON, Mass. - A Springfield man and Enfield, CT woman were convicted today in federal court of conspiracy, food stamp fraud, money laundering, and wire fraud relating to a three year long scheme to commit food stamp benefit trafficking.
JORGE MARTINEZ, 40, and KATHLEEN LAMSON, 57, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor to one count of conspiracy, multiple counts of food stamp fraud, one count each of engaging in monetary transactions, and multiple counts of wire fraud.
Had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have that MARTINEZ and LAMSON conspired to commit food stamp fraud by unlawfully purchasing food stamp benefits from food stamp recipients at a discounted cash value, and causing the full value of the food stamp benefits to be electronically transferred into a Connecticut bank account in both of their names. To provide customers with cash for the food stamp benefits, MARTINEZ and LAMSON would withdraw large amounts of cash from this bank account, and engaged in monetary transactions to purchase two vehicles using the funds received from the food stamp fraud scheme.
Judge Ponsor scheduled sentencing for October 18, 2011. MARTINEZ and LAMSON each face up to twenty years in prison for food stamp fraud and wire fraud counts, up to ten years in prison on the money laundering counts, and up to five years in prison for the conspiracy count. MARTINEZ and LAMSON face a three-year-term of supervised release and $250,000 fine on each of the counts.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Brian L. Haaser, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region for the United States Department of Agriculture, and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Boston Field Office, made the announcement today. The case was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Department of Agriculture and IRS Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle L. Dineen Jerrett of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.