A $500,000 food stamp bust by the Schenectady PD working with the USDA and other agencies.
The three-year scam a father and son are accused of running out of the "Cheese Bakery and Grocery" on State Street involved food stamp trafficking by using EBT cards to purchase food stamp benefits at a rate less than their full value, usually 50-70%. The father and son, and Elvin Singh, are facing felony charges; 20 food stamp recipients are facing misdemeanor and petit larceny charges.
The news release from the Schenectady Police Department contained the following statements:
Schenectady Police Chief Brian Kilcullen:
“Today's arrests are the results of a collaborative investigation with all our partner agencies. Those arrested today are accused of abusing a system put in place to help those who qualify purchase food. Had the program been utilized as intended, those arrested would have been able to obtain adequate and nutritious diets. Instead, cash was obtained and potentially used for purposes entirely contrary to the purpose of the program. The cost of the abuse is staggering.
This investigation was initiated to stop the abuse and hold accountable those responsible for it. Our hope is that the efforts of all those involved in this investigation will discourage others from engaging in similar conduct.”
Schenectady County District Attorney Robert M. Carney stated:
“The volume of fraudulent sale of food stamps attributable to this one location is staggering and we hope to make an example of them in order to discourage others from abusing a very worthwhile program to assist those in need. Assistant District Attorney Katie McCutcheon who assisted the investigation and will be handling the prosecutions has my thanks for her role in this significant operation.”
Schenectady Police say the investigation took 6 months and involved the assistance of:
Schenectady County Probation
Schenectady County Child Protective Services
NYS Department of Tax and Finance
NYS Department of Financial Services
NYS Office of Temporary Disabilities and Assistance.