Albany store raided for food stamp fraud - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany store raided for food stamp fraud

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –A food stamp fraud raid Tuesday afternoon.  The Dougherty District Attorney's office raided a central Albany store and arrested its operator.

They say he defrauded the state's food stamp program out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Investigators raided the Downtown Eatery and More at 701 North Jefferson about 2:45 Tuesday afternoon.

They seized the store's Electronics Benefit Transfer machine and records as well as store computers and receipts.

E-B-T cards are supposed to be used only to buy food.

The D-A says 31-year old Mayurkumar Patel was paying cash for about half of the value of the benefits on the card, and keeping the other half for himself.

Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards said  "It's costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. And in this instance we estimate tens of thousands if not a couple of hundred thousand dollars have gone through this location."

Patel is charged with financial transaction card fraud and computer theft.  His father owns the story.

The D-A will allow the store to re-open after the investigation is completed, but the store will not be able to accept food stamp benefit cards.

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