Co-owner of Cincinnati Findlay Market butcher shop sentenced to prison for food stamp fraud
DAYTON – A husband and wife and their Findlay Market vendor, Busch’s Country Corner, Inc., were all sentenced in U.S. District Court today for food stamp fraud.
Michael D. Busch was sentenced to 12 months in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. His wife, Amanda Jo Busch, was sentenced to five years of probation with eight months in home confinement, and 200 hours of community service.
Both of the Busches and the corporation were also ordered to pay $87,192 in restitution.
The Busches were convicted by a jury in Dayton following a two-week trial in June 2019.
According to court documents and trial testimony, from April 2010 until May 2018, Busch’s Country Corner co-owner Michael Busch, his wife, Amanda Jo Busch, and his brother, Randall S. Busch, illegally exchanged cash for SNAP benefits.
The defendants caused more than 195,000 individual SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) transactions to be completed by Busch’s Country Corner, totaling more than $5.4 million. According to witness testimony at trial, approximately 64 percent, or $3.4 million, of those SNAP transactions were fraudulent.
Co-conspirators used an electronic point of sale device in order to process EBT transactions for cash. For example, one transaction included a beginning EBT balance of $1,300 and an ending balance of $11.
Michael, Amanda Busch and Busch’s Country Corner were each convicted on all counts, including conspiracy to steal government funds, SNAP fraud and wire fraud.
Randall Busch, the brother of Michael Busch, previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years of probation.
Congress sets the maximum statutory sentence. Sentencing of the defendant is determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Anthony V. Mohatt, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General Investigations, Midwest Region; Yvonne DiCristoforo, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service; and Michelle Thourot, Agent-in-Charge, Ohio Investigative Unit, announced the sentence imposed by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Rose. Assistant United States Attorney Dwight Keller and Assistant Deputy Criminal Chief Laura Clemmens represented the United States in this case.
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