Crime

Documents: Food stamp fraud suspects traded benefits for cash at mom & pop stores

Alleged Food stamp fraud

EL PASO, Texas - An open records request submitted by the ABC-7 I-Team revealed the 16 food stamp fraud suspects arrested in May used two different convenience stores to trade benefits for cash. 

ABC-7 has since learned the arrests in May are connected to a food stamp fraud investigation in November 2016.

Back on May 20 and May 21, the Texas Department of Public Safety arrested 16 suspects involved in fraud and abuse of Lone Star Cards utilized by the Texas Electronic Benefit Transfer system.

12 of the suspects allegedly committed food stamp fraud at Alayssa's Little Store, located at 6966 Doniphan Drive in Canutillo.

Four of the suspects allegedly committed food stamp fraud at the El Segundo Market located on 900 Hills St. in El Paso.

In November 2016, seven business owners and employees were arrested for food stamp fraud. A spokesman for DPS tells ABC-7 that both cases are connected.

ABC-7 spoke with Adrian Fernandez, one of the seven arrested in November. He told us he could not comment on the latest arrest and referred ABC-7 to his attorney. Fernandez said he is fighting the charges in court.

Below is a slideshow showing the arrest photos for all 16 suspects arrested in May 2017:

Federal officials say this investigation and prosecution should send a strong zero-tolerance message to those individuals defrauding the taxpayer funded SNAP programs.

The following individuals were each charged with Unauthorized Possession of Food Stamps, a third-degree felony:

  • Maria Arroyo, 24: allegedly conducted 19 fraud transactions for a total of $3,165 at Alayssa's Little Store
  • Enrique Castaneda, 62: allegedly conducted 63 different fraud transactions for a total of $2,592 at Alayssa's Little store
  • Eunice Montejano, 28: allegedly conducted 12 different fraud transactions for a total of $3,186 at Alayssa's Little Store
  • Laura Ginez, 43: allegedly purchased two different ineligible items for $308 at Alayssa's Little Store
  • Yoana Miranda, 36: allegedly conducted four different fraud transactions for a total of $802
  • Luz Garcia, 41: allededly conducted seven different fraud transactions for a total of $853 at El Segundo Market
  • Sheila Robles, 30: allegedly conducted 19 different fraud transactions for a total of $3,472 at Alayssa's Little Store
  • Severa Villagrana, 45: allegedly conducted five different fraud transactions for a total of $645 at Alayssa's Little Store
  • Eva Martinez, 30: allegedly conducted 18 different fraud transactions for a total $3,945 at Alayssa's Little Store
  • Angelita Salazar, 26: allegedly conducted four different fraud transactions for $803 at El Segundo Market
  • Rebecca Loya, 45: allegedly conducted four different fraud transactions for a total of $350 at Alayssa's Little Store
  • Annette Lerma, 28: allegedly worked out an agreement with store owner at Alayssa's Little Store to get back 50 percent of transaction done with Lone Star Food Card.
  • Sandra Ibarra, 34: allegedly conducted four different fraud transactions for a total of $604 at Alayssa's Little Store
  • Maria Martinez, 29: allegedly received store credit for $323 at El Segundo Market
  • Leah Grier, 33: allegedly received store credit for $544 at Alayssa's Little Store
  • Claudia Anguiano, 35: allegedly received store credit for $447 at El Segundo Market

 

Below is a slideshow of the business owners and employees arrested in November 2016


 

  • Alma Celina Gonzalez De Fernandez, 44, El Paso
  • Adrian Fernandez, 46, El Paso
  • Blanca Isabel Alvarez, 40, El Paso
  • Rebecca Sandoval Ruvalcaba, 40, El Paso
  • Jose Luis Alvarez, 43, El Paso
  • Isaac Guzman, 35, El Paso
  • Carlos Briceno, 45, El Paso

 

You can report food stamp fraud here: https://oig.hhsc.texas.gov/report-fraud


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