BOSTON - Two former Holyoke convenience store owners were sentenced late Friday in federal court for their roles in a three-year long scheme to commit food stamp benefit trafficking.
Jorge Martinez, 41, of Springfield, Mass., and Kathleen Lamson, 58, of Enfield, Conn., were each sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor to one year and one day in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and were ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution. On May 18, 2011, Martinez and Lamson pleaded guilty to conspiracy; multiple counts of food stamp fraud; engaging in monetary transactions; and multiple counts of wire fraud.
Had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that Martinez and Lamson unlawfully purchased, at a discounted cash value, food stamp benefits from food stamp recipients, resulting in the full value of the benefits being 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. They also used funds from that account to purchase two vehicles.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William G. Squires, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region for the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, Investigations; and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle L. Dineen Jerrett of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.
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