Glendale store owners face food stamp fraud charges

GLENDALE, AZ - The owners of a Glendale store face charges after an alleged $2.3 million food stamp fraud operation was busted.

Several state and federal agencies, along with the Glendale Police Department coordinated the operation investigating Nicben African Caribbean Market Plus located near 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

According to a news release from the Arizona Department of Economic Security, on multiple occasions the store allegedly provided cash to individuals in exchange for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Preliminary data from USDA estimates fraud against the SNAP (food stamp) program may exceed $2.3 million from this store location alone since 2010.

Also, 33 SNAP recipients will be investigated for SNAP fraud, which may result in administrative sanctions and/or criminal prosecutions, according to the news release.

The owners face possible charges of fraudulent schemes and artifices, unlawful use of food stamps, money laundering, computer tampering, illegally conducting an enterprise and related offenses stemming from the undercover investigation.

Final charges will be determined by the state grand jury in conjunction with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, according to the news release.

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