Findlay Market Vendor Convicted of $3.4 Million in Food Stamp Fraud
DAYTON – A husband and wife and their Findlay Market vendor have all been convicted of food stamp fraud. A jury returned the verdict today of guilty on all 25 counts following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose.
Benjamin C. Glassman, 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 verdict.
A federal grand jury charged Busch’s Country Corner, Inc. and officials with charges related to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) fraud in an indictment returned here in June 2018.
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.
Michal and Amanda Busch and Busch’s Country Corner were each convicted on all counts, including conspiracy to steal government funds, submitting false claims, SNAP fraud and wire fraud.
“There is no substitute for trial by jury,” said U.S. Attorney Glassman. “After listening to the evidence attentively for two weeks, this jury rendered verdicts to ensure that the defendants did not get away with getting ahead by stealing taxpayer money.”
Randall Busch previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years of probation.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the USDA OIG, Secret Service and Ohio Investigative Unit, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Dwight Keller and Deputy Criminal Chief Laura Clemmens, who are prosecuting the case.
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