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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cape Girardeau County Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges Involving Food Stamp Fraud

Cape Girardeau, MO – The co-owner of B & H Convenience store pled guilty Monday to charges of misusing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program.  Patrick Buck admitted with his plea that he illegally redeemed up to $550,000 in SNAP benefits between January 2010 and March 2014.

According to court documents, the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division (FSD) issues Electronic Benefits Transfer Cards (EBT) for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps.  Authorized grocery retailers can only accept and redeem SNAP benefits for the sale of eligible food items.  They are not permitted to exchange or redeem SNAP benefits for cash or other ineligible items such as household goods, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, cellular telephones or other non-food items.        

Patrick Buck, Cape Girardeau, MO, pled guilty to four felony counts of unauthorized use of SNAP benefits.  He appeared Monday in Cape Girardeau before United States District Judge Ronnie L. White.  Sentencing has been set for August 15, 2016.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.  In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.  

This case was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General-Investigations and Sikeston Department of Public Safety. Assistant United States Attorney Anthony L. Franks is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Updated May 17, 2016