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Press Release

Store Owner Sentenced to Federal Prison for Food Stamp Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia

ATLANTA - Sholondrell Denise Taylor has been sentenced to federal prison for the theft of $1.9 million in a food stamp fraud scheme.  Her Atlanta stores allowed customers to exchange their food stamps for cash, and purchased Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) vouchers at less than face value, eventually redeeming them with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at full price.

“Taylor cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and diverted scarce resources intended to assist those most in need,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn.  “Store owners who provide an outlet for people to commit fraud, while taking profits for themselves, should expect to be caught and prosecuted.” 

“The prosecution of this individual should send a strong message to those individuals who defraud governmental programs that the USDA-OIG will continue to aggressively investigate individuals and businesses that take advantage of our SNAP and WIC programs. Sholondrell Taylor used her businesses for fraudulent purposes and profited immensely in doing so. The victims of these types of crimes are the children that were deprived of the food benefits that they were entitled to. We would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Georgia Department of Human Services, Office of Inspector General, for assisting us with this investigation” says Karen Citizen-Wilcox, Special Agent-in-Charge, USDA-OIG.

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: From January 2008 through March 2011, Taylor operated Dandes Food Center, LLC, in Forest Park, Georgia, and Shop Rite Food Mart, LLC, located in Atlanta, Georgia, where she unlawfully allowed customers to exchange their food stamp benefits for cash at the rate of 50 cents on the dollar.  Taylor also purchased WIC vouchers from benefit recipients at less than their actual value and redeemed the vouchers for full value with the USDA. 

Taylor set the rates of redemption, and instructed her employees to keep detailed ledgers of all transactions to ensure that they were not stealing from her.  She trained her employees how to determine the available balances on food stamp cards; and required employees to obtain WIC voucher codes and usable voucher dates before purchasing the vouchers.  Many of the customers who sold their WIC vouchers and food stamp benefits never visited Dandes or Shop Rite.  Taylor employed a driver who travelled throughout metropolitan Atlanta to retrieve WIC vouchers and food stamp cards and dispense illegal payments.

This case came to the attention of federal authorities as a result of an investigation involving Georgia Department of Human Services employees.  In 2011, Gene Tell and Kristy Williams were charged with conspiracy and mail fraud for their roles in the fraudulent creation and distribution of thousands of food stamp cards.  Many of the fraudulent cards were illegally redeemed at Dandes Food Center operated by Taylor.

Sholondrell Denise Taylor, 47, of Ellenwood, Georgia, has been sentenced to four years, six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1.9 million, and a $100 Special Assessment.  Taylor was convicted on these charges on February 29, 2016, after she pleaded guilty.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General.

Assistant United States Attorney Loranzo M. Fleming prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated May 16, 2016

Financial Fraud