Store owner sentenced in welfare fraud scam
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- One of the four store owners involved in a welfare fraud operation was sentenced to six months in the Albany County Jail and five years of felony probation.
According to Albany County District Attorney David Soares, Laterio Santos, the former owner of Frank and Giovanni's, took part in a food stamp scam. The DA says Santos would allow electronic card recipients to drain the money from their cards without actually buying merchandise. He would then keep half of the cash and return the other half to the customer.
The DA says more than $108,000 was seized during the initial raid.
"Mark the first occasion were the proprietors have been held accountable. This should send a loud message that the DA along with the social security's office are going to do everything to preserve the integrity of these programs," said Soares.
According to Soares, the other three store owners were previously convicted and sentenced.
They are Roberto Castro, Ricardo Fabian, and Elhadi Abdalla.