Huntington stores face food-stamp fraud investigation
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The owners of two Huntington convenience stores face food stamp fraud charges after investigators found that the businesses were redeeming unusually large amounts of benefits.
The Herald-Dispatch reports that according to search warrant affidavits, the ALLINONE Store redeemed up to seven times the food stamp benefits than a typical convenience store of its size. At the nearby Huntington Mart, the volume was even higher, according to grand jury indictments.
The indictments allege that store owners and employees defrauded the federal program of more than $420,000 between June 2010 and January 2012. The defendants exchanged benefits for cash or ineligible items such as cigarettes and alcohol.
Stores would redeem the full amount of government benefits, but give the food-stamp user as little as 50 cents on the dollar in cash or goods.