POSTED: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 6:30am
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 6:34am
Baton Rouge, La — Two Lake Charles convenience store owners have pled guilty to crimes involving a massive food stamp fraud scheme.
On March 9, 2012 Goodfellas Grocery and Goodfellas Grocery II owners Craig and Hillary Nash entered guilty pleas in relation to a 26-count indictment ordered by a federal grand jury last June.
According to the indictment, the two businesses redeemed $2.7 million worth of fraudulently obtained benefits from the food stamp program.
The indictment further alleges that the Nash brothers allowed individuals with food stamp benefits to exchange their food stamps for alcohol, tobacco, and cash and profited by charging a fee of approximately half the food stamp benefits from the debit card before providing a reduced amount of cash to the card holder. Such transactions are strictly prohibited under federal law. The Nash brothers now face a 20 year prison sentence, up to $250,000 in fines, and restitution to the United States government.