How did this man come to OWN this store? There is no information on much about this fraudster except that he stole from Americans and is getting just a slap on the wrist. It’s no wonder these people are repeat offenders!
A hispanic store owner testified in court through a Spanish translator (Why no English?) that he swindled the American tax payers out of millions via food stamp fraud. Eduardo Leonardo plead guilty to stealing from the USDA by illegally exchanging over a million dollars of food stamp benefits for cash for over two years.
“I stole from the USDA and the Food and Nutrition Service,” Eduardo Leonardo said slowly in Spanish through a translator in Brooklyn Federal Court. “It was an exchange of…benefits for cash.”
Leonardo, 57, admitted to committing “food stamp” fraud between Oct. 2015 and March 2017 by giving customers cash in exchange for running their EBT cards for a higher amount, which the federal government would later reimburse.
In one instance, an undercover witness from the USDA went into Super Economic and picked up a jar of peanut butter and jelly and crackers, totaling $5.48. The witness then asked Leonardo to exchange benefits for $200 cash and Leonardo charged an undercover EBT card $287.89 and gave the witness $200 in cash, making a $82.41 profit.
The USDA lost a total of $1,116,924.27 in the transactions.
The scammer has run his store, Super Economic One Way Supermarket out of 104-21 Glenwood Road in Canarsie since Dec. 2011. It became a registered SNAP business on May 25, 2012.
“Specifically I gave a discounted rate in cash in exchange for them [customers] allowing me to ring up the full amount,” Leonardo said to Judge Ann Donnelly.
Remember Ann Donnelly?
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) previously called the “food stamp program,” uses federal tax dollars to aid low-income households in buying affordable and nutritious food. EBT cards are used like debit cards, to swipe at special terminals in retail food stores to use the benefits in exchange for food.
Between Nov. 2015 and Jan. 2017, Super Economic conducted more than 57,000 SNAP transactions totaling more than $1.5 million, according to court documents.
About 8 transactions were made for $50 or more, an amount that USDA officials say is high for a store that size, which would normally conduct $15 average transactions.
Leonardo is set to be sentenced on Oct. 31 and could face a maximum five years in prison…WHAAAAT????
THIS IS WHY THIS KEEPS HAPPENING!
A man swindles more than a million dollars from Americans yet he gets only 5 years in prison? The punishment does not fit the crime!
Via: Brooklyn Eagle