TWO CONVENIENT STORE MANAGERS PLEAD GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHARGES INVOLVING FOOD STAMP FRAUD
Cape Girardeau, MO – Manager Larry White, Sr. of Stop-n-Go Fish Market, Sikeston, MO, and his daughter Erica White, manager of Stop-N-Go Mini Mart store pled guilty to charges of misusing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program. Each admitted with their pleas that they illegally redeemed up to $549,000 in SNAP benefits between December 2010 and March 2014 by exchanging SNAP benefits for cash and illegible items.
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.
Larry White, Sr., 63, and Erica White, 35, both of Sikeston, MO, pled guilty to multiple felony counts of unauthorized use of SNAP benefits and conspiracy. Both appeared today before United States District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., in Cape Girardeau. Sentencing has been set for August 16, 2017.
The conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000 and SNAP fraud carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $10,000. 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, Sikeston Department of Public Safety and the New Madrid County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Anthony L. Franks is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.