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Press Release

San Antonio Businessman Sentenced to Federal Prison for his Role in an Estimated $1.65 Million Food Stamp Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

In San Antonio this morning, Senior United States District Judge David Ezra sentenced a San Antonio businessman to federal prison for his role in an estimated $1.65 million Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp fraud scheme announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.

Judge Ezra sentenced 52-year-old Sunny Joseph, owner of Picnic Food Mart on South Hamilton Avenue, to 48 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.  Judge Ezra also ordered the defendant to pay $1,652,000 in restitution to the federal Government.

On April 23, 2015, Sunny Joseph pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.  By pleading guilty, the defendant admitted that between November 2009 and March 2011, he, and employees under his direction, sold ineligible items, including tobacco and alcohol, to SNAP beneficiaries.  Furthermore, the defendant admitted that he, and employees under his direction, traded SNAP benefits for cash for a fee averaging between 35-42 cents for every dollar.

The case was investigated by agents with the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Office of Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Moore.

Updated February 4, 2016